State Police officials are reminding motorists that leaving children of any age unattended inside closed or locked vehicles when summer temperatures begin to sizzle is dangerous and sometimes fatal.
Sweltering temperatures continue in Connecticut and are expected to continue through the week.
This type of weather should serve as a reminder that all parents, guardians, daycare providers and babysitters should be educated about the severe dangers involved in leaving children in cars.
Toddler dies inside car in Ridgefield
The State Police reminder comes a day after a 15-month child died after being left inside a parked vehicle in Ridgefield. As of Tuesday mid-afternoon, the incident is still under investigation and no arrests have been made.
And on July 3, a Shelton woman was arrested for allegedly leaving her 3-year-old child in a car while she was inside a grocery store in Orange. The child was not harmed. Read about that incident by clicking here:
Children less supervised in summer
Children have more free time in the summer and take part in more outdoor activities. However, sometimes they are supervised less and may play in unlocked cars or trunks.
Children should never be left in a locked car and should not ever have access to unlocked, parked vehicles or trunks in this hot, humid weather.
Many children do die
In 2013, 44 children nationwide died due to automobile heat-related deaths. Since 1998, more than 500 children have died from hyperthermia after being in a hot automobile.
These figures include those children left unattended and those who entered parked cars on their own to play. State Police officials said these numbers are troublesome because they represent deaths of babies, toddlers, and young children — and the deaths are completely preventable.
In 2013, a total of 44 children died from heat stroke. Fifteen children have died to date in 2014 across the country.
Temperatures rise quickly inside a car
During summer weather, the temperature inside of a car can rise into the triple digits in a matter of minutes.
Studies on thermal injury to children show that “dry heat” temperatures, within a closed vehicle, can become dangerous to small children and infants in only minutes.
A high level of humidity can reduce that time by one half.
Call 9-1-1 if see anything
Under Connecticut law, leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle may result in a felony charge.
State Police officials said if anyone observes a child left unattended in any car, at any time — but especially on a hot day— they should call 9-1-1 because this is a true emergency. “You can help save a life,” officials said.
Motorists are strongly advised to keep their vehicles locked and never let children play in cars. Make a habit of looking in the car, front and back seats, before locking a vehicle and walking away.