Law enforcement: Cars and kids don't mix with summer heat - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Law enforcement: Cars and kids don't mix with summer heat

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

In preparation for the coming summer months, local police are reminding parents of the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars.

Tyler Police will be holding a safety demonstration on Wednesday, offering parents helpful tips to avoid accidents.

44 children died from vehicular heat strokes in the U.S. in 2013, according to KidsAndCars.org—the highest number in three years.

The all-time high for fatalities in one year was back in 2010, when 49 children died from vehicular heat stroke. 32 deaths were reported in 2012, and 33 in 2011.

Police advise parents to never leave their children alone inside or even near cars for any among of time. Other tips include leaving cars locked, even in the driveway, as well as keeping keys in a location unreachable by children. Statistics show that nearly 32% of child deaths resulted from kids who actually got into the hot vehicle on their own.

Surprisingly, 54% of deaths are caused because parents simply forgot their child was still in the car. Many of those cases are attributed to the fact rear-facing car seats appear the same to the driver whether an infant is in it or not. KidsAndCars.org advises parents leave a physical reminder in the backseat, such a cell phone, purse or briefcase. The group says leaving something you will need on the floorboard of the back seat gives just one more reminder to check the car before you walk away.

In fact, in deaths between 1998 and 2010, 87% were children age three and younger.

Failing to stay on top of the issue has legal ramifications for parents as well. Tyler Police reminds points to a recent case where authorities rescued a small child from a vehicle after being left unattended for an extended period of time. That child was transported to a local hospital with heat related issues, and the mother was arrested for child endangerment.

Wednesday’s event will be held from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. at the front entrance of Tyler’s Broadway Square Mall.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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