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Hot vehicle fatalities are a year-round threat to children

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Posted at 5:46 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 05:46:33-04

The risks surrounding kids getting trapped in hot cars are changing. Kidsandcars.org says typically in one year - 25% of hot car deaths happen when a child gets into a vehicle on their own.

This year, that number has jumped to 55% and studies show most of these tragedies happen at home.

"During the pandemic children are at home more hours of the day, more days of the week, and so naturally we are seeing the number of home accidents and injuries with children increase," said Amber Rollins, Director with kidsandcars.org.

Rollins says a lot of these deaths have happened during nap time. She says parents don't realize the child is missing at first because they get outside and into the car when they're supposed to be asleep.

Rollins suggests doing everything you can to make sure toddlers can't sneak outside - like child-proofing or putting sensors on doors.

Always keep your vehicle locked and the keys out of reach. Teach kids how to get out if they do get trapped. And if your child ever goes missing - cars should be one of the first places you check.

"Just like you would check the pool in the backyard first, a vehicle is an environment that presents an imminent risk to children very quickly," Rollins explained. "You wanna check the inside, the floorboards, and the trunk of all of the vehicles in the area immediately. And minutes can make a difference for kids trapped in a hot car."

The group is also advocating for congress to pass the 'Hot Cars Act.' it would require all new vehicles to have systems that can detect a child or a pet in a car when the engine is off. It passed the House this month.