We've just begun the hottest month of the year and yet dozens of children across the country have already died this year from heat stroke after being left in hot cars. That's why policy makers and safety advocates, both nationally and locally, are working to stop this tragic trend.
It was just under a year ago that a 7-month-old boy died after being left in a hot car at a Walmart parking lot in Helotes. The boy’s father worked at the store and told police that he forgot to drop his baby off at daycare. It’s a tragedy that continues to play out across the nation with more than 700 children dying since 1998 according to NoHeatStroke.org.
Texas leads the way with the most heat stroke deaths due to children being left in cars.
“What we see is, a lot of times parents, it’s a new baby, they’re first time parents, they’re in a new routine, they’re sleep deprived,” said Mandy Fultz, who works with University Health System and Safe Kids San Antonio.
Thanks to a grant, this year they were able to purchase technology that demonstrates just how hot a car gets when parked outside. This week the demonstration is in front of the Schertz City Hall.
“We've had some great feedback on social media and also from our employees as well, who have seen the difference, sometimes 50 degrees differences in the temperature outside as inside the car,” said Schertz Public Affairs Director Linda Klepper.
“I came to pay a water bill this morning and, as I was here, I noticed the car and then I noticed the temperature difference in the temperature in the car. And I said, ‘Wow, I’ve got to come see it in the afternoon when it’s really hot and see what the difference is,’” resident Javier Rodriguez said.
On Monday, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate that, if passed, would require new vehicles to be equipped with sensors alerting drivers that there’s a child in the back seat.