Parents reminded to not leave children in hot cars

Published: Jul. 2, 2014 at 6:49 PM CDT
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(KFVS) - The Kentucky State Police remind parents not to leave a child alone in a hot car as temperatures are on the rise.

The National Safety Council reports that nine children have already died in 2014 from being left in hot cars across the U.S. The NSC reports that 44 children died last year from vehicular heatstroke in the U.S.

An ongoing study by San Francisco State University estimates that since 1998, there have been 615 heatstroke deaths of children left in vehicles, an average of 38 deaths per year. Most of those deaths were children under the age of two years.

Kentucky passed "Bryan's Law" in 2000 which makes a person liable for second-degree manslaughter or first-degree wanton endangerment for leaving a child younger than eight years old in a vehicle where circumstances pose a grave risk of death, according to KSP. The law was named after 11-month old Bryan Puckett, who died July 13, 1999 after being left in a hot car by his babysitter.

These safety tips can help caregivers remember to check for children:

  • Never leave a child in an unattended car, even with the windows down.
  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading.
  • Don't overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car.
  • If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk.
  • Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver as a reminder.
  • Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Make 'look before you leave' a routine whenever you get out of the car.

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