Yesterday, a child in Texas and one in Connecticut died after overheating in a hot car. These deaths followed similar incidents from earlier in the week where a 17-month-old child died in Florida after the boy was left unattended in a parked car, and in Louisiana where emergency responders had to break a window of a parked car to rescue a child who had also been left alone.
According to national statistics, an average of 37 children die each year from being left unattended in vehicles. Between 1998 and 2018, 744 children died; in Louisiana, 27 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths were recorded in that timeframe. There are already 27 car-heat-deaths in the U.S. this summer.
Just today, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness issued an Excessive Heat Warning that temperatures today and through the weekend are reaching extreme levels.
Because of actual and potential tragedies, a number of Louisiana state agencies have joined together to remind families to be extra careful when traveling with children and pets in vehicles. The 10 state agencies include the Governor’s Office, the State Fire Marshal, the Children’s Trust Fund, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, the Highway Safety Commission and the departments of Education, Environmental Quality, Children & Family Services, Transportation and Health.
Using the hashtag #BeatTheHeatLA, these agencies are using their social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, blogs and podcasts to spread the word about the dangers posed by leaving a child or pet unattended in a hot car.
Facts About Hot Cars