As summer temperatures heat up, a Missouri police department is hoping to help prevent hot car deaths by giving out rearview mirror reminders.
O’Fallon Police Department officials said in a Facebook post, “OPD is offering these rearview mirror reminders to ensure your most prized possession is safe.”
According to the Police Department, 13 children have died in the U.S. so far this year after being left in hot cars.
The hangers that hook behind your rearview mirror are bright yellow and say, “Where’s Baby? Look before you lock!”
First responders say a vehicle's temperature can rise 19 degrees in just 10 minutes.
Researchers at Arizona State University found the following:
- A vehicle parked in the sun for one hour reached an average cabin temperature of 116 degrees.
- In a locked vehicle, a dark dashboard, steering wheel or seat can often reach temperature ranges of 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit, which then warms the air trapped inside a vehicle.
Here’s what researchers found out about temperatures in vehicles parked in the shade versus the sun:
- The average cabin temperature for vehicles parked in the sun during the trip hit 116 degrees in one hour. Dashboards averaged 157 degrees, while steering wheels reached 127 degrees and seats rose to 123 degrees.
- Interior temperatures were closer to 100 degrees after one hour in vehicles parked in the shade. Dashboards averaged 118 degrees, while steering wheels reached 107 degrees and seats rose to 105 degrees.
A spokeswoman for KidsandCars.Org said the above findings should not lead people to believe that children should be left in hot vehicles for any amount of time.
NoHeatStroke.Org offers the following tips to avoid leaving children or pets inside hot vehicles:
- Never leave kids unattended in cars.
- Always check the back seat. Leave something else of importance there that you'd normally take out, such as your wallet as a reminder.
- Always keep your car locked and the keys out of reach.
- Make arrangements with your child's day care to have them call you if your child is absent.
- Call authorities if you spot a child alone in a car.