The girl was the second child to die on Wednesday as a police officer in Rome, NY, left his infant son in a hot car. The current death toll is now up to 11. This time last year, four children had died after being left in a hot car, according to the National Safety Council. Deaths usually increase as the temperature does, and the National Weather Service is predicting a hot summer due to a particularly strong El Nino cycle. The average death toll is 38 child deaths per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last year saw a lower death toll than usual, with 24 deaths.
NoHeatStroke.org found that 53 percent of parents simply forgot about their child in the car. A change in routine or a lack of sleep, problems which all parents are familiar with, can have devastating consequences. While deaths are usually clustered in the south of the country, temperatures can quickly rise in a car even on a mild day. Children's bodies are not as efficient as adults' at cooling off, and car seats often act as a insulator, compounding the risks. While some have tinkered with techy solutions to try and prevent such tragedies from occurring, the only real way to avoid such a fate is vigilance.