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State Police caution motorists about heat-related auto deaths involving children

After another child died from being left in a hot car, this time in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on Monday night, Connecticut State Police released this reminder to the public:

The Connecticut State Police remind motorists that leaving children of any age unattended inside closed and/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, day care providers and babysitters should be educated about the severe dangers involved in leaving children in cars.

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.

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 to play. These numbers are troublesome because they represent deaths of babies, toddlers, and young children and these deaths are completely preventable.

Fifteen children have died to date in 2014 across the country.

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.

As a reminder for the summer of 2014, the Connecticut State Police urge all drivers to never leave a child unattended inside a car. Under Connecticut Law, Leaving a Child Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle may result in a felony charge.

If anyone observes a child left unattended in any car, at any time, but especially on a hot day, call 911 this is a true emergency. You may help save a life.

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 your vehicle and walking away.

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