Hot car deaths: How simple reminders can help you remember to “look before you lock”

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Summer Weather Safety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Children or pets being left in a hot car is, more often than not, attributed to the parent or guardian simply forgetting they have someone in the back seat.

But forgetful can quickly become fatal.

The car acts just like a greenhouse, and on a warm day, will trap heat at an astounding rate. For example, if it’s 80 degrees outside, after just one hour, a car left in a parking lot will reflect temperatures around 120 degrees inside.

On average, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. In 2018, 108 people died from a heat-related issue. The 10-year average of heat-related deaths in the U.S. is 101, and the 30-year average is 136.

Now, compare that to just pediatric vehicle deaths. The numbers are, sadly, still somewhat high in comparison, with 52 kids dying last year, and 53 dying the year before.

On top of that, since 2018, a recorded 114 pets have died from heat-related incidents since 2018.

So how do we get this to stop? Some simple reminders can help.

First, you could put something, like a purse, or your wallet in the backseat next to the child, or pet. That way, you’ll have double the reason to remember to check the back.

You can also put a teddy bear in your front seat as a visual reminder every time your child is in your car.

Finally, there’s the simple, but meaningful saying of “look before you lock”.

Simple tricks? Absolutely. But sometimes, simple can mean saving a life.

For more summer weather safety tips, click here.

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