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Record Temperatures in N.C. and Heat Related Deaths of Children in Vehicles

This summer Charlotte has seen many weeks of near record-breaking heat. Most days the temperature reaches the upper 90’s, but with the heat index, we’ve seen a few days that have peaked over 100. Since we are only a little over a week into August, more hot days are expected in our future.

Most people are aware of the dangers of this hot weather and take extra precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones. So why is it that we still hear about children dying unattended in hot vehicles? On average 38 children die each year because of this.

Yesterday an article was written in the Charlotte Observer about a 9-month-old child who died in S.C. due to being left in a car unattended for 3 to 4 hours (SC dad of boy who died in hot car won't be charged). Sadly, the article explained that no one is being charged with a crime for this child’s death. It is such a tragedy that this little boy had to lose his life when incidents such as these are completely preventable.

Studies have shown that 81% of these types of death occur because the child was forgotten or unattended and only 17% occur because the child was intentionally left alone by an adult. These are some very disturbing numbers. Clearly we need more awareness about this issue and possibly more consequences to make sure people don’t forget. Currently, only 19 states have laws specifically addressing leaving a child unattended in a car.

Everyone needs to be aware of this issue. If you see a child unattended in a car call 9-1-1. If you have children of your own, make sure you have a plan when you go out. Make it a habit of checking the backseat before you get out of your car. Put something with your purse or briefcase to remind you that your child is in the car. If you have older children make sure they are aware of car safety and that the car is not a play area. Hopefully by raising awareness with everyone the number of heat-related deaths of children in vehicles can be reduced.


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