Summertime is here! June 21st marked the beginning of the summer with the return of the sun, blue sky, and warm weather. You may not know it but in Santa Barbara, it feels like our summer starts a little later because we experience “June gloom.” During most of the month, clouds fill the sky and temperatures stay pretty much around 70 F. It gives us a good reason to really appreciate the hot summer days!
Unfortunately, with heat comes certain dangers and if you often drive with your kids, make sure to never leave them in your car on a hot day, even if you think it is only for a few minutes. It is important to be aware that a car’s interior temperature can rise approximately 40 degrees within one hour, even when the exterior temperature is only 72°F. (1)
Regularly, kids die from heat stroke after being left behind for a while or simply forgotten. According to our partners Kids and Cars, 52 kids died of heat stroke after being left behind in 2018. Sadly, this year, we are already at 17 deaths so far.(2)
It is unfortunately possible for parents to forget their kids in the car. Going with the flow of the day and following their routine, parents go to work or to their usual occupation, forgetting that the child is even in the car with them. “Forgotten baby syndrome” is not a negligence problem, but a memory problem, says David Diamond, Ph.D, a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida. “The most common response is that only bad or negligent parents forget kids in cars,” Diamond says. In reality, “It’s a matter of circumstances. It can happen to everyone.” (3)
To prevent such tragedy, make sure to always looks at the back seat when exiting your car and check out the Look before you lock tips list by Kids and Cars here: https://www.kidsandcars.org/how-kids-get-hurt/heat-stroke/
They also designed the Kars 4 Kids Safety app to alert drivers when they leave their cars to remember there is a baby in the backseat (https://www.kars4kids.org/safety-app/) .
By spreading awareness, we can help reducing the number of child’s death related to hot cars. Drive safe this summer!