Layers of safety: Tips to keep children from dying in hot cars

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on June 29, 2010 at 7:06 AM

PHOENIX -- An average of 37 children die in the U.S. each year after being left in hot cars. About half of those are because the caregiver simply forgot the child was in the car. According to the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, there were 33 deaths last year, and 19 so far this year.

According KidsCare.org, 24 Arizona children left in hot cars have died since 1994, two alone since 2008.

"It's not as though it's your typical neglect," said Paul Penzone of Childhelp. "These are situations where good families are allowing themselves to become distracted. ... It can lead to a very devastating finale."

It happened again over the weekend. Zipporah Johnson, who was just under 2 years old, was left in her child seat in a hot car for more than two hours on a day when the high temperature topped out at about 110 degrees. Police are recommending negligence charges be filed against her father.

On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can jump to more than 140 degrees in less than 15 minutes.

Penzone shares some tips with Javier Soto designed to help parents keep their little ones safe.

"The bottom line is as a parent, it's your responsibility to make that child your priority at all times," Penzone said.

Penzone said much like preventing child drownings, creating layers of safety, including a variety of reminders, can help prevent hot-car deaths.

 

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