17 children this year have died in hot cars

Dozens of children die in hot cars each year

COLUMBIA, Mo. - "I think it's more common than people want to admit, or want to believe," said Dr. Zerrer with Providence Urgent Care.

Twenty-six children have been left in cars around the country since June 18.
Monday in Houston bystanders broke into a car to get children out from the backseat.

The most recent death was in El Paso, Texas where a two-year-old was found dead in a car after being left in her driveway overnight.

 "Seventy five plus percent of fatalities from hot cars are two-year-old and under because little kiddos cant not regulate their temperatures like adults can, that system is not as developed. And for their size they increase their heat up to five times faster than an adults because of metabolism rates," said Dr. Zerrer.

A 22-month-old in Georgia died in the car after being left for seven hours while his father was at work.

He is now facing felony murder charges.

In response to that high profile death, parents around the country have taken to youtube.

It is called the hot car challenge.

ABC 17's Heather Hourigan took the challenge Wednesday for thirty minutes.

Within that half hour while it was in the mid 70's outside, the car heated up to 116 degrees.

 "It can take as little as 20 to 30 minutes for a child to die in a hot car," said Zerrer.

According to Gene Weingarten a Washington Post write who won a Pulitzer Prize for his story on hot car deaths, he learned it can happen to any parent.

He wrote in the last ten year it has happened to a dentist, police officer, and even pediatrician.

Those are just a few.

"It's a preventable thing and that's what makes it a giant deal because it can be zero," said Dr. Zerrer.

comments powered by Disqus

ABC 17 News Stormtrack

  • Monday, May 22 Evening Weather Video

Top Videos