By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With temperatures expected to hit the 90’s this week, children left in hot cars become a cause for concern. On average, 38 children die each year after being left unattended in a hot vehicle. Now safety experts are pushing to prevent future deaths. As 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, that can be done using high tech solutions and common sense guidelines.
With windows closed the temperature in a car can jump from 88 to 100 degrees in 10 minutes and can keep climbing. Tomy makes a smart car seat that sends alerts to parents’ phones if a child is left in a car that’s not in motion.
But experts want a broader approach. KidsandCars.org, an advocacy group, wants the federal government to fund research on new technology. Sue Auriemma says,”Truly the way to solve the problem is to address it in all vehicles, which is why we’re looking to the government to address the issue fleet wide.”
Until then, experts stress common sense solutions, such as putting your handbag or briefcase behind the driver’s seat which forces you to look in the back, keeping a stuffed animal up front as a visual reminder, and ask your daycare provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up.
Most importantly, don’t be complacent. Auriemma says, “The truth is that’s the biggest mistake a parent can make, is thinking that it can’t happen to them.”
KidsandCars.org is looking to gather 100-thousand signatures this month to force the government to get involved. You can visit the petition at: http://www.kidsandcars.org/