Despite a rise in public awareness campaigns, 2018 was a record year for the deaths of children in hot cars.
The single-year high of 49 deaths originally set in 2010 once again was matched this past year. An additional two deaths in 2018 are being investigated, which could surpass the record.
"Passing legislation is an important step, but can be a lengthy process," the National Safety Council stated in a public response. "Parents and caregivers can act immediately, and the council calls on them to pay stricter attention in 2019 starting today – even though it is January, when weather is cooler in most states. On relatively mild days, temperatures inside vehicles still can reach life-threatening levels in minutes, and cracking windows does not help."
The NSC also advises parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions to reduce the risk of forgetting a child. In addition, keep car doors locked so children cannot gain access, and teach them that cars are not play areas.
Place a purse, briefcase or even a left shoe in the backseat to force you to look before you lock, the organization suggested.