CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The United States is on track to report the lowest number of pediatric hot car deaths since record keeping began in this country, but health experts fear that could quickly change.
Experts with the National Safety Council say stay-at-home orders during the pandemic could be a key factor in the decrease in deaths. Now the concern is that as people get back in their cars, they may be more likely to leave children inside to avoid exposing them to infection in public places.
“Unfortunately, July and August are the times when this usually happens so it’s not over yet, and that’s why we want to make sure, especially during COVID, since routines are altered, that parents are aware and keep it front-of-mind that these things can happen,” said Malvina Duncan, Injury Prevention Coordinator for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Duncan pointed out that within minutes the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to 108 degrees.
“That’s enough to cause death,” she said.
Heat-related car deaths are the second cause of non-crash-related vehicle deaths among children in the U.S.