Bill Aims to Prevent Hot Car Deaths
"August is typically the worst month for hot car deaths"
Experts report that there has been a record high number of hot car deaths this year. Now child advocates are pushing for a proposed law called the HOT CARS Act that would require carmakers to have alarms for back seats to alert when a child is left there.
The U.S. Senate bill, backed by more than two dozen child and road safety groups, is aimed at preventing hot car deaths by requiring automobiles to be equipped with technology that will alert drivers if a child is left in the back seat after the vehicle has been turned off. According to advocates with KidsAndCars.org, 30 children have already died from heat stroke inside vehicles this year, and August is typically the worst month for hot car deaths.
“Since 1990, more than 800 children have been tragically killed in hot cars," said Janette Fennell, Founder and President of KidsAndCars.org. "At KidsAndCars.org we work tirelessly to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of vehicular heatstroke. But education alone is not enough. Every summer, children are dying and families are suffering. We cannot stand by and allow these deaths to occur when technology is available and affordable to save a life”.
Until backseat car alarms become a reality, KidsandCars.org offers the following safety tips:
· Make it a routine to open the back door of your car every time you park to check that no one has been left behind.
· Put something in the back seat to remind you to open the back door every time you park—cell phone, employee badge, handbag, etc.
· Keep a stuffed animal in baby's car seat. Place it on the front seat as a reminder when baby is in the back seat.
· Arrange for your babysitter or child care provider to call you if your child hasn't arrived as scheduled.