WASHINGTON – Fifty-two children died of heatstroke in 2018 after being left in hot cars, according to numbers released by the National Safety Council this week, making it the deadliest year on record in the past 20 years.
Almost 800 children died of heatstroke in vehicles between 1998 and 2017.
Currently, just 21 states have laws regarding this issue, eight include the possibility of felony charges for those who deliberately leave a child alone in a hot car.
Experts said a car can become deadly within minutes. The vehicle’s windows act like a greenhouse on a hot day and heat up 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
Several car companies are now trying to help remind rushed and preoccupied parents to check their back seat.
General Motors 2017 and 2018 Acadia has a “rear seat reminder” built into more than 20 of its models.
The reminder will flash a message on the front controls and ding five times if the back door is opened and closed up to 10 minutes before the car starts.
The navigation app Waze has come out with a similar function, the child reminder setting will alert drivers to check the back seat once they have reached a programmed destination.