YAKIMA, WA - Did you know that during July more kids die of being left in a car than any other time of the year? In the United States, 38 kids die every year from heat stroke after being left in a car.
"When a child is left unknowingly in the car, that's about half the cases where someone forgets a child in the car. About a quarter of the cases are where a child is left to run an errand real quick. And a quarter of the cases a child enters a car when the car was unlocked," said Aaron Grigg, a pediatrician with Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.
Cars can heat up by twenty degrees in ten minutes, even on mild or cloudy days, and temperatures inside can reach life-threatening levels.
"Children in a car, they can't control their heat; even if you leave their window cracked studies have shown that doesn't decrease the temperatures enough, and so a child's body heat the core temperature at a 104 degrees starts to suffer from heat exhaustion," said Grigg.
Grigg recommends parents create reminders to make sure they don't forget to check the back seat.
"Make sure you lock your car, so no one can get in and start acting like they're driving and then suffer from heat stroke because they don't get out. Leave something in the back seat with the child - so leave your purse back there so you have to go back and get your purse, a cell phone," said Grigg.
The national safety council offers a free online course about the danger of vehicular heatstroke in children.