Child Abuse Network Warns Against Kids in Hot Cars; Several Fatal Cases This Summer

The Child Abuse Network said in light of hot, summer temperatures returning to Green Country, it wants to warn people against leaving children in hot cars.

Managing Director Rose Turner said there have been 17 cases of children dying from hot cars this summer. One of those cases was a two-month-old boy in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

CAN reports that on average, every 10 days, a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle.

"It certainly is a horrible way for a child to die, because it's just, they're restricted, they can't breathe, their body heats up and then they suffocate and die," Turner said.

CAN offered several safety tips for summer, including leaving a purse or cell phone in the back seat near a child. That can help a caretaker remember to check if their child is in the car.

Turner said anyone can forget about a child in a hot car, especially if he or she is not used to caring for the child or if a person is under stress.

Channel 8 spoke with a parent who said he never left his daughter in the car while she was young. He said now that she is older, she will sometimes stay in the car with the air conditioning running. Turner said the law allows that for children over age six, however it can still be dangerous if children play with gears in the vehicle.

Representative Kevin Matthews wants to explore the Good Samaritan law to see if any more can be done about spotting children in hot cars.

The Carter County District Attorney's Office said Richard Chastain is charged with manslaughter in the first degree for the death of the two-month-old Oklahoma boy in June.

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