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Hot cars present risks for young children

Many Georgia caregivers are careful about children’s safety when it comes to matters such as seatbelts. With summer temperatures that can soar into the 90s and beyond, caregivers may not always consider the dangers of leaving young children in the car, even with the air conditioning running. However, hot cars present a hazard for young children, and accidents can occur under a variety of circumstances.

Some children are left in hot cars by accident, or climb in unseen. The Alabama Media Group recently reported that in Florida, a 3-year-old died at a local hospital after he climbed into a car while unattended. His aunt did not find him for approximately three hours. The child could not exit the vehicle by himself. Inside the car, the temperature reached about 130 degrees.

There are several steps caregivers can take to ensure that they are always looking out for young children, according to TODAY. One is to make sure that the car doors are always locked. This keeps young children from getting stuck inside vehicles or from climbing into them. Caregivers dropping off children should also make sure they leave an item in the backseat that they will need to bring indoors with them. Caregivers may also want to develop the habit of always scanning the car before they leave to ensure everyone is out.

While hot cars are not a leading cause of injuries among young children, caregivers should be aware of the risks. Young children have a higher risk of developing heat stroke, as adjusting their body temperature is more difficult for them. In the last 20 years, 3-year-olds and children who are younger contributed to 87 percent of deaths related to hot cars. The number of children who have died from causes related to hot cars is 700 with 19 deaths occurring in 2015.

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