Beat the Heat, Check the Backseat is a campaign from the National Weather Service to remind people not to leave their children in a hot car.

Georgia ranks 8th in the country for heat related deaths in cars for children, but what's surprising is that it's happening at a time of year when hot temperatures usually are not a factor.

RELATED |Frightful weather threatens as holiday travel peaks

"What was really heartbreaking was when we started looking at the ages of these people that were dying, these were young kids," explains Trisha Palmer, meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

RELATED |Mother charged with reckless conduct after leaving infant in car

We all know to not leave our kids or pets in a car on a 90 degree day, but what about a 70 or 60 degree day?

"As we started digging down further I was seeing deaths from heat as early as April and as late as December," states Palmer. "Well how are these children dying? Cause it wasn't like it was really hot outside, it was 70s outside. So I cross-referenced my database with a database that keeps track of heat stroke deaths in children....we found that yes, all these deaths of children early in the year and late in the year were in vehicles."

The temperature in a car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, 30 degrees in 20 minutes, and 40 degrees in less than an hour. (G3)
Once the car reaches 104 degrees, heat stroke sets in. So, if the temperature outside if 64 degrees or higher... leaving them inside is usually fatal.

Here's the temp outside the car, it's 47 degrees. Inside the car, the temperature is 66 degrees. If the outside temperature is in the upper 60s, as it sometimes can be in December, that means if you run in to a store for just 35 minutes, your child to succumb to heat stroke in that short period of time.

"50 precent of the childrens deaths in vehicles are because they were forgotten or left by a caregiver," Palmer describes. "Another 30 precent were because they actually gained access to the vehicle themselves and were playing in it, and either succumbed before they realized it, or couldn't get out, they got trapped in the vehicle."

Meaning 80 percent of these deaths could have been prevented by simply checking the backseat of the car.

Read or Share this story: