13 Investigates


NHTSA: 760 kids died in hot cars since 1998

18 died already in 2018
Posted at 3:40 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 16:56:25-05

It's probably one of the worst ways a child could die. Suffering while trapped in a hot car. Contact 13 has new data showing it happens more often than you think. 

The numbers are staggering while the suffering is unimaginable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, since 1998, 760 children died in the U.S. from heatstroke because they were left in a car. This year, 18 have died so far.  

We want to help prevent that from happening and so does NHTSA so they're issuing a new warning today.  

NHTSA reminds everyone that the inside temps of a car can be deadly in almost no time. 

So here are some life saving tips your family can use that cost absolutely nothing:

  • Most importantly, never leave a kid in a car, even for a minute. You never know what might happen that could prevent you from getting back to your vehicle. 
  • Look Before You Lock. Make it a habit to always look at the back seats when you get out of a car, not just when you're the driver but as a passenger too. 
  • When you load the kiddos in the car, leave something on the back seat or floor like your purse or wallet, phone or even one of your shoes -- ANYTHING that will force you to go to the backseats again when get out.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat, move it to the front seat after your child is in. That will serve as a visual reminder.  

And there are a number of devices such as car seat alarms and aps available to chose from. 

All those choices comes down to this slogan from NHTSA: "Whatever it takes, so you don't forget." 

When your car is parked at home, keep the doors locked and the keys out of reach from young ones. NHTSA data show 27% of the children who died were playing in an unattended vehicle. 

And another message from NHTSA: "IT'S EASIER THAN YOU THINK TO FORGET A CHILD IN A HOT CAR." That's important because according to KidsandCars.org tragedy has struck families from every background. In fact most cases involve responsible, loving parents. Don't think for a second it happens only to children with a history of abuse or neglect. That's because everyone gets distracted. 

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