Though it may feel like much of the country was just battling freezing temperatures and snow, summer and the heat that comes with it is just around the corner. Record-breaking high temperatures and heat waves won't be uncommon, which is why it's not at all odd to already be talking about infant hot car deaths.
According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 children die each year in hot cars. The stat covers instances in which a child has been forgotten in a car, accidentally locks themselves in a car or trunk, or, in a small number of cases, when a child has been intentionally left in a car.
The Weather Channel wants to do its part to reduce that alarming number, so they're airing special content around the dangers of hot cars, including videos from meteorologists, tips to keep kids safe, and special interviews with government officials and families impacted by hot car deaths.
In one informative clip, meteorologist Kelly Cass sits in a hot car to demonstrate just how quickly temperatures can rise.
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In another, two mothers whose children suffered in hot cars spoke with TWC to share that a similar incident could happen to any parent.
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Also, for the second year in a row, they'll be airing the Scorching Car Scale, a tool that shows viewers the estimated temperatures after 10 and 30 minutes in the sun. The aim is that this will make viewers more aware of the connection between summer temperatures and car safety. They note that the Scorching Car Scale is similar to the “feels like” temperatures that TWC includes in indexes, and it will be implemented into TWC forecasts all summer.
Nora Zimmett, TWC's Senior Vice President, Content and Programming, tells Parents.com, "These are very tragic incidents that we hear about each summer, but are easily preventable with the right information and knowledge about the risks. As it begins to heat up outside, it is our hope that this scale will remind our viewers how quickly car temperatures can rise in just a few, short minutes. By coupling the Scorching Car Scale data with our regular weather reports, we hope to keep children and pets safe, and prevent car deaths from happening when the temperatures rise.”
Props to TWC for raising awareness around this summer danger. The more we all know about the risks, the more likely we can prevent heat-triggered tragedies.