Rising temperatures call for raised awareness about leaving chil - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rising temperatures call for raised awareness about leaving children in cars

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

With temperatures rising at the very beginning of summer, spreading awareness about leaving children in hot cars is more crucial than ever.

In June alone, five children died in hot cars across the U.S. 

Since 1998, 23 children in Tennessee died as a result of being left in hot cars. This number is one of the highest in the nation. 

Every single one of those deaths was preventable.

“Leaving a child in a car at all is one, against the law, and two, it's incredibly dangerous for small children,” Barry Gilmore, Chief of Emergency Services at LeBonheur Children's Hospital said.

Gilmore explained that with a temperature of about 93 degrees outside, it would take only about 20 minutes for the inside of a car to reach over 120 degrees.

These cases are not the first of their kind in the Mid-South. In Clarksdale, Mississippi in 2011, a church member left a 3-month-old infant in the car. He thought another church member grabbed the child. Instead, he had to bury his son. 

In Maryland, a family member found a 2-year-old girl dead Tuesday after she was left in the car for at least 16 hours. 

“These are clearly preventable deaths. We have the ability to prevent that happening,” Gilmore said.

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