INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): With summer in full swing and people traveling to summer destinations, Indiana State Police are reminding citizens to take extra caution in regard to small children and hot cars. The National HIghway Traffic Safety Administration reports that cars in direct sunlight can reach temperatures inside of 131 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit when temperatures outside are 80 to 100 degrees. They say even when the outside temperature is 60 degrees, internal car temperatures can still rise above 110 degrees. Even with the window rolled down two inches, the car's interior temperature can rise to over 100 degrees in 15 minutes.
According to a report by Jan Null, CCM of the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences, San Francisco State University, as of June 25, 13 children in the U.S. have died this year as a result of heatstroke after being left in a hot car, and 44 children died in 2013. From 1998 to the present, 619 children have died as a result of heatstroke after being left in cars, an average of 38 per year.
Indiana State Police offer the following tips to avoid one of these tragedies:
•NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE. NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE !
•IF YOU SEE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A HOT VEHICLE CALL 9-1-1.
•Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don't overlook sleeping babies.
•Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. IF A CHILD IS MISSING, ALWAYS CHECK THE POOL FIRST, AND THEN THE CAR, 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.
•Or 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.
•Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.