Safety tips and prevention: Hot cars and children

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The story of a child who died after being left in a hot car yesterday is weighing heavy on hearts across the Valley, and unfortunately stories like these happen all too often. Sgt. Trent Crump from the Phoenix Police Department and Captain Benjamin Santillan from the Phoenix Fire Department shared ways to prevent tragedies like this and safety tips for hot weather.

Sgt. Crump demonstrated how even in only 60 degree weather, a thermometer inside of a sealed car showed temperatures of nearly 100 degrees after only 15 minutes.

Sgt. Trump said that the police and fire departments are trying to use yesterday's tragedy to push prevention measures and get the word out about hot car safety.

"We have some great parents out there who love their kids dearly, but who get distracted and ultimately leave their kids in the car," Sgt. Crump said. "That's what we're trying to prevent."

Phoenix safety officials urge parents to have a plan to avoid distraction and ensure that they will not leave a child in the car. Some tips include leaving items like a purse, cell phone or keys in the backseat to ensure parents turn around and check the back of the car no matter what. Other tips include leaving early for important appointments or meetings to avoid being in a hurry.

Captain Santillan said that 83 percent of the children who die in hot cars are 2 years old or younger. He said that 28 children have died after being trapped in hot cars in Ariz. in the past 14 years.

Always alert authorities if you see someone who may be trapped inside a car.

For more information and prevention tips, visit Kidsandcars.org

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