As the temperatures rise, it’s a crucial time to remind all parents that a hot car is no place for a child. Sadly, dozens of children die annually of heatstroke in cars, oftentimes due to a distracted caregiver. It may come as a surprise that temps in a car can easily exceed 100 degrees, even on a mild day. The Hot Cars Act of 2019 aims to put a stop to these unnecessary deaths.
Thankfully people are taking notice of this issue and calling for legislation and education surrounding the fact that children can quickly overheat and perish in vehicles. The Hot Cars Act of 2019, which pushes for occupancy-sensor regulation, is a critical bill that would help to prevent children from being needlessly injured or killed when alone in vehicles.
The organization KidsAndCars.org has been on the frontlines, tirelessly campaigning for a warning device to alert drivers to the presence of a child in the back seat. According to the New York Times:
“The House bill, which is due to be introduced this month, is expected to require an audible warning if someone is in the back seat after the engine is turned off. Such technology is already standard on the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Santa Fe, providing an alert if ultrasonic sensors detect child or pet movement in the second and third row.”– The New York Times
Kids and Cars has succeeded in calling for power window improvements, better rear vision, and safeguards that prevent setting a car in motion.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When You Have a Child in the Car
Here are vehicle safety tips to keep your little ones safe during the summer months:
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle… not even for a minute.
- If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 9-1-1.
- Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car. It’s easy to get distracted, so make sure all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook a sleeping baby in the car.
- Always lock your car to ensure children don’t have access and teach them that vehicles are not safe areas for play.
- Place your purse, briefcase, or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
We hope to see the Hot Cars Act of 2019 pass! Let’s put a stop to these needless deaths and injuries.
Katie Nave Freeman is freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.