This article originally appeared on nbc12.com
Summer is right around the corner, and officials want parents to be mindful of the risks associated with leaving children in cars.
Nearly 1,000 children have died in hot cars in the past three decades.
Crews from the Richmond Ambulance Authority hosted a live demonstration, urging parents and others caring for children to pay attention.
This demonstration was aimed at saving lives and offering tips that will hopefully prevent a tragedy this summer.
“When a call comes in for a child locked in a hot car, it can turn into a tragedy quickly,” said CEO of Richmond Ambulance Authority, Chip Decker. “For a long time, people haven’t been able to go places and now they can go out and travel again, so being mindful of who you’re caring for is important.”
“I got chills from watching the reenactment, it was horrifying. It’s a parent’s worse nightmare,” said parent Carter Boaze.
Boaze and her two sons watched the demonstration. Baze said while it is tempting to leave your kids in the car to run inside for a quick errand, the end result isn’t worth it.
“If it’s the slightest chance they can be in there for any amount of time unattended, it is not OK,” said Boaze.
Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes. A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
“Twins died right where I lived in Chesterfield when I was 12 years old,” said the founder of BabyInBabyOut, Hannah Rhudy.
Rhudy was also there in attendance. She founded BabyInBabyOut, a rear-view mirror hangtag that visually reminds parents to check on their children in the backseat.
“Even if they’re not flipping the tag, hopefully, the neon colors remind parents that their child is back there,” said Rhudy.
While many in attendance said this demonstration was tough to watch, the biggest message today is that these deaths are preventable.
“This can happen to anybody, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent,” said Decker.
Hot Car Dangers Facts (NHTSA):
- A car can heat up by 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes and become deadly.
- A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s, and heatstroke can occur in outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees.
- Even with windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes. A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
- A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body.
- 88% of children who have died in a hot car are three or younger.