News 12 has tips on saving kids and pets from hot car tragedies
As temperatures heat up, News 12 wants to help your family stay safe by giving you tips about how dangerous it can be to leave kids and pets in hot cars.
"We know cars can heat up fast on a hot sunny summer day, but why? When the sun's rays go into the car it gets trapped there. That's shortwave energy and the longwave energy that the car seats that your dashboard produces, it doesn't escape. So at 90 degrees that's your outside temperature. It only takes 10 minutes to reach almost 110 inside and almost 120 after just a half hour," says News 12 Storm Watch Team Meteorologist Alex Calamia.
According to kidsandcars.org, six babies died in hot cars in the U.S. in less than a month.
The group says there are ways to avoid a hot-car tragedy.
Occupant detection technology is one advancement taking part in fighting these hot-car tragedies.
"That can detect a child alone in a car and provide alerts to the family, to bystanders or even law enforcement," says Amber Rollins, director of Kidsandcars.org.
Rollins says that while education and awareness are at an all-time high, the number of children dying is still up over the last 30 years. "There's some kind of disconnect here, and we really believe that's because people think this can't happen to them."
Many people who spoke with News 12 says it’s up to the driver to pay attention. "I don't think you have to remind yourself your kid is in the car," says Tom Markiewicz. "You're a parent. You have a responsibility. You do your job," says Bob Miller, grandparent.
Other tips for preventative measure:
· Open the back door - look before you lock every single time you leave your vehicle, even if the kids aren't with you make that a daily habit.
· Create a visual reminder and place it on the front seat.
· Create safeguards, set reminders and check-in with the other parent
Rollins says about one-third of these hot-car tragedies are caused by a child getting inside a car unknowingly and then getting stuck, so make sure to always have the cars locked, keep car keys, fobs away from children's reach and never leave a child unattended.