Remember when a “hot car” was a stolen vehicle? Now they are death traps for kids

The state Department of Transportation has given a $100,000 grant to help raise public awareness on the potential danger of leaving children to swelter in parked motor vehicles. Lieutenant Gov. Nancy Wyman will join U.S. Sens Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy on Monday, along with representatives from the Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, the DOT, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, and Safe Kids Connecticut to formally announce the effort. There have been a half dozen  reported incidents of adults leaving children alone in hot cars in just the last month, including a fatality in Ridgefield. The event Monday is at 11 in the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, 282 Washington Street, Hartford.

This is from the news release: “The statistics are staggering.  The body temperature of a child can increase three to five times faster than an adult.  Heatstroke continues to be the leading cause of non-crash related deaths for children 14 years old and younger. An average of 38 children have died in hot cars each year in the USA since 1998.  This year alone, more than 16 children have died from heatstroke after bring left in a hot car, including a 15-month-old boy in Ridgefield. The Connecticut Department of Transportation is supporting a public awareness campaign during August and September through a grant to Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center.  The campaign includes billboards, radio, and other media.  The Injury Prevention Center has created a coalition that includes Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Connecticut to help raise awareness statewide of this danger.  Funding for this initiative made possible by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”