January 29, 2019 – The cause of death for two Missouri girls on July 4, 2018, have just been confirmed as heatstroke bringing total number of child hot car deaths to
51 for 2018. Last year is now officially the worst year in U.S. history surpassing the devastatingly high death toll of 49 children in 2010.
“We cry out for proactive solutions as these preventable deaths continue to mount every summer,” states Janette Fennell, president and founder of KidsAndCars.org the only national nonprofit child safety organization working solely to prevent injuries and deaths of children in and around vehicles. Technology exists that can detect the presence of a child or animal inside a vehicle and prevent hot car deaths. “I can't help but imagine that if the Department of Transportation (DOT) had sprung into action when they first learned about this risk over a decade ago that many of these innocent children would still be alive today,” she added.
"The worst thing any parent or caregiver can do is think that they could never unknowingly leave a child behind in a vehicle," says Amber Rollins, director of KidsAndCars.org, "This can happen to the most loving, responsible and attentive parents. Nobody is immune," she added.
We can no longer accept this unnecessary emotional and economic toll on our families. Common sense solutions are available and need to be brought to the market. We have worked tirelessly to ensure other families don't have to experience this type of pain and loss, but only technology along with education will prevent these unthinkable tragedies.
Since KidsAndCars.org began tracking data, over 900 children have died from heatstroke inside vehicles. An average of 38 children die every year from vehicular heatstroke (one every 9 days).
As KidsAndCars.org pushes for technology, we also urge parents to ‘Look Before You Lock’ and keep cars locked at all times.