Child Vehicular Heatstroke Deaths Likely To Rise This Year

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By: Roberto De La Rosa-Finch – Online Editor

In the past week, two tragic incidents involving children suffering from vehicular heatstroke have once again shed light on how forgetfulness, or cruelty, can lead to tragedy.

In Arkansas, a 5-year-old boy died after being left in a day care van. In Texas, two young sisters died in a hot car after their mother supposedly abandoned them for 15 hours.

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While these cases of intentional desertion are rare, children are still often forgotten in hot vehicles.

According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, since 1998 an average of 37 children die each year in hot cars.

The tragedy can happen anytime–forgetting a child during an errand run, a child accidentally locking themselves inside a car, or the rare case of intentionally leaving a child to suffer.

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Vehicular heatstroke can also happen anywhere. Evidently hotter states are more likely to have incidents as such. According to NoHeatStroke.org, Texas had the most vehicle heatstroke deaths from 1998 to 2015, with 100. Florida had 72 deaths, California had 44, and Arizona had 30.

Even so, the mishap occurs nationwide. As of Saturday, there have been 12 such deaths this year. Unfortunately the number is likely to rise as June through August is the deadliest time.

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To combat the deaths, concrete laws have been preposed or installed. Specifically, it is illegal in 19 states to leave a child alone in a car. A nationwide agreement can only come in time.

It is important to know that due to children’s difference in biology, they are more susceptible to vehicular heatstroke; particularly one year old children and younger.

As a result of that anatomy, children can suffer from the heatstroke even in the shade or with the windows down. We advise you to be careful and to be diligent.

Photo Courtesy of njspotlight.com