According to the National Safety Council, more than 50 children died after being left behind in a hot car in 2018. And this year there have already been several reports of children being left in hot cars.
“In the heat we have here, in South Mississippi especially, with the humidity, that temperature can rise over 40 degrees within a matter of minutes, because the sun is magnified through the glass of the vehicles. It doesn’t take long before the child’s body temperature rises to the point the brain can’t handle it,” said Metro Ambulance paramedic John Beard.
Beard said that in a matter of minutes, a hot car situation can turn deadly.
“Depending on if it’s overcast or not, in less than 10 minutes you could be dealing with a deadly situation. There’s no air circulation available. You’ve got the magnification of the heat. People just think they can run into the store, but it’s not worth the few minutes. Take the child out and take them in with you,” said Beard.
Beard said most hot car situations he has encountered have been accidents, which is why he said you must always be aware when riding with a child, because it can happen to anyone.
“The wife normally took the baby to daycare and that morning the father was supposed to take it to daycare. He drove to work, got out and worked a whole shift and came back and the child had of course died. Horrible, horrible mistake,” said Beard.
Beard said one way to prevent forgetting a child is in the car is to place a noise maker on or near the child so that whenever they move, you will hear them.