Firefighters Demonstrate How Child Can Die in Hot Car

Temperatures inside of a vehicle can reach up to 120 degrees during the summer months, which can be fatal for children.

It's story that's told too often: parents slip into a grocery store for just a few minutes and leave the window cracked for their children or return home from an errand and forget the baby in the back seat, leading to the child's death.

What seems like a harmless few minutes in a store can result in the injury or death of a child. And it's not only dangerous to leave a child in the car, it's been illegal in California since 2001.

"Temperatures in vehicles rise within minutes, especially on a very hot day and we are going to be experiencing extreme heat this weekend," said Claudia Doyle of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.

After placing a dummy in a vehicle and showing the temperature the inside, firefighters during a demonstration Wednesday broke the window of the car to rescue the dummy, as they would a child.

More than 30 children nationwide died in the past year from being left in hot cars, Doyle said. So far this year, there have been 13, including a 3-year-old child in Pomona.

In California alone, 44 children have died since 1998 from being left in a hot cars, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Temperatures inside cars can reach 120 degrees, and that could lead to heatstroke or death.

When children are in carseats in the back of the car, parents should place something they wouldn't forget, like their cellphone or purse, in the back as well so they remember to go to the back seat when they leave the car.

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