Southern California is known for its amazing climate. Everyone who lives in Orange County knows that it gets hot here. Temperatures over 100 degrees are common place during the summer months. Just last year, parts of Southern California had over 100 days of 90 degree weather. As the weather warms and we get ready for the "lazy days of summer," its time to remind drivers to never leave your children unattended in vehicles. Unfortunately, over 49 kids died of heat stroke last year as a result of being left in a car.
Many people may not be aware but in 2001, California passed Kaitlyn's Law. This was designed in part to prevent people from leaving their kids in the car only to deal with the catastrophic consequences of doing so. The law makes it illegal to leave kids 6 and under unattended in any vehicle. With the widespread news of these awful tragedies, its surprising that the instances of heatstroke deaths is still on the rise. Many experts believe this is due in part to the increasing number of very hot days. Another is the harried lifestyle parents and others have which cause them to become distracted, making phone calls, changing CDs or texting, especially as the leave the vehicle. Because we try to cram so many tasks into the day, we often are absent minded about the most important things in our lives: kids.
We need to be more vigilant. No child should die as a result of distractions. Children can die within minutes of being left in a hot vehicle. This is especially true when they are three or under because of their sensitivity to temperature variations. Of the deaths in 2010, most were kids 3 and under.