July Deemed Worst Month for Hot-Car Deaths

The deaths of 11 children nationwide who died last month after being left in cars as temperatures around them soared made July the deadliest month for such incidents in almost 10 years.

Golden Gate Weather Services meteorologist Jan Null, who has tracked hot-car deaths since 1998, said at least 729 children in the U.S. since that time have died after being left in vehicles.

The latest victims include two Arizona children — ages 1 and 7 months — who recently died within a day of each other. While about 37 children die each year after being trapped in a hot car, records state that 27 children have already died in 2017.

Null said cars transform into ovens when direct sunlight heats objects inside. She added that temperatures can soar to 120 or 130 degrees even when the outdoor temperature is only in the 80s.

Null also explained that children are particularly vulnerable because they have difficulty escaping a hot vehicle on their own, and their respiratory and circulatory systems can’t handle heat as well as adults.

Bishop Curry, 10, a fifth-grader from McKinney, Texas, has invented a device to prevent children from dying in hot cars.
His device, called Oasis, attaches to children’s car seats and senses when a child has been left behind in the seat. In that event, the device starts to blow out cool air until the child is rescued.

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