Last week, at least 3 children have died inside hot cars nationwide. With family routines shifting for summer break and coming off of a long holiday weekend, Kids and Car Safety is urgently calling for extra caution.
Already this year at least 6 children have died in hot cars. Since 1990, over 1,050 children have died in hot cars and at least another 7,300 survived with varying types and severities of injuries, according to data collected by Kids and Car Safety.
5/28/23 - Palm Bay, FL, 11-month-old was unknowingly left in a hot car
5/26/23 – Houston, TX, 4-year-old got into a car on own (+ 2-year-old survived)
5/25/23 – Puyallup, WA, 1-year-old was unknowingly left
5/16/23 – Prosperity, FL, 2-year-old girl was unknowingly left
3/6/23 - Port St. Lucie, FL, 2-year-old boy was unknowingly left
2/27/23 – Atmore, AL, 2-year-old boy was unknowingly left
A change in the normal daily routine and fatigue are the most common contributing factors for a child being unknowingly left behind in a vehicle. When the right circumstances align, losing awareness of a child in the back seat can happen to even the most safety conscious caregiver.
The majority of hot car fatalities involve children who were unknowingly left by an otherwise loving, responsible parent or caregiver (55%). Additionally, about a fourth (25%) of children who die in hot cars got into the car on their own and became trapped, of which 68% were little boys. Eighty-eight (88%) percent of children who die in hot cars are age 3 or younger.
Families and caregivers should take extra precautions any time they’re experiencing a change in routine. Families should create habits to protect their children using Kids and Car Safety’s Look Before You Lock safety checklist.