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Hot Car Deaths Are On The Rise - Here's What You Can Do

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You don't need me to tell you that this summer is scorching outside.

Many cities in the world have set all-time heat records, which means there has been an uptick in heat-related deaths.

One in particular are hot car deaths in America, affecting dozens of children.

This year is looking to be the worst one yet.

A Lethal Oven

According to a site dedicated to informing the public about heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles, as of July 2018, 28 children were reported dead.

In a majority of these cases, a child was forgotten by a caregiver. In other cases, the children were playing unattended in a hot vehicle or were intentionally left by an adult.

And according to these stats, most of these children were below the age of three.

The reason for this is because, not only are children helpless when locked in a vehicle, but also their bodies heat up much faster than adults.

Depending on how hot it is outside, it can take just one hour until tragedy strikes.

"We always see an increase in child injuries and deaths this time of year,” KidsAndCars.org president and founder Janette Fennell said in a statement to Metro.

"It is devastating to know that there are families all across America right now holding their precious babies, unaware that they will lose them in a hot car this summer. But, these children don’t have to die. Parents and caregivers have the power to make sure that this doesn’t happen to them."

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Now I know what you're thinking, how can someone forget a child - a human being - on a hot summer's day?

Sometimes a simple change in routine can disorient new parents.

Kristie Reeves lost her one-year-old daughter, Sophia, in 2011 after her husband forgot to drop off their little girl at daycare before going to work.

"Don't think for one moment that only a monster would do this," Kristie Reeves told ABC News.

"I get why people dismiss it. It's easier as parents than to accept the truth that your memory can fail you in times of stress, in times of chaos ... That's terrifying that your own mind can fail you with something so precious, your bundle of joy."  

A few weeks ago, a three-year-old boy in Houston died after being left in a bus during a daycare field trip.

And in May of this year, a one-year-old girl died in Tennessee after her father forget to drop her off at daycare.

These are just three stories out of dozens. So what can be done about this?

Safety Checklist

In light of these cases, many people have created safety checklists to prevent these deaths from happening.

It's not only parents and caregivers that should know these, everyone would benefit from having this knowledge.

The organization Kids and Cars recommends to follow these four simple steps to ensure a child's safety:

1. Always put your wallet or purse in the backseat.

If you have a fob key, also put that in the backseat.

That way, you'll never leave the car without checking the whole vehicle.

2. Make sure to always lock vehicles parked in a driveway.

Unattended children can make their way inside a vehicle and be at risk of getting trapped inside.

Also, make sure you never leave keys on the floor or in any area that is at arm's reach of a child.

3. Keep in contact with your child care provider, especially when they're responsible for driving your kid around.

If you don't know your babysitter well enough, it's probably best that they stay at home.

4. Leave baby items in the front seat to remember that you have a child on board.

I know you're still thinking, 'how could someone forget a child in a car,' but it has happened before and history shows that it will continue to happen.

Simple reminders may save a life.

And remember, if you see a child locked in a vehicle, call for help immediately.

Share this story to raise awareness about the rise in hot car deaths.

Children are not the only ones who can get trapped in a hot vehicle. Here are three steps you must follow to rescue a dog in a hot car.

[Source: Metro / CNN]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.