Group reaching out ahead of summer to warn parents of hot car deaths

Group reaching out ahead of summer to warn parents of hot car deaths

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The latest victim of a death by heatstroke after being left in a car was a child in Texas and these deaths don't just come on hot days.

The high in Amarillo today is just going to reach into the 60's, but officials tell us that's all it takes to turn a vehicle into an oven. Officials with the group "Kids and Cars" tell us they have seen deaths from children being left in the car on days where it was only 50-60 degrees outside.

Cars act like greenhouses and absorb the sun's heat, making for an incredibly hot interior. Although summer is still two months away, there have already been 5 deaths recorded in the U.S.

"It's very important for people to understand that children are dying in hot cars," said President and Founder of Janette Fennell. "Unfortunately in Texas, it's the number one state where well over 100 children have died in hot cars. So we want to get ahead of the summer season."

The group is doing that by dubbing days like today, "National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Awareness and Prevention Day." Their goal is to make parents and others in childcare aware of just how large of a problem this is.

"So we need for everyone to get involved and get the message out there that children don't have to die in hot cars. These are very predictable and very preventable situations and we need to raise awareness, get everybody involved and hopefully we can bring down that terrible number of a child dying every 9 days in the U.S.," said Fennell.

KidsAndCars says the first issue is many people believe this will never happen to them, but reminding parents to "look before they lock" is a phrase they want embedded in everyone's head.

"Understand this happens to the very best parents, and if you put a plan in place, then you can say, this will never happen to me or my family."

To find a list of more tips for prevention, click here.

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