First responders share advice on preventing hot car deaths as temps increase

Nicholasville cool down event held Wednesday for public
Hot Car Deaths (generic graphic)
Hot Car Deaths (generic graphic)

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky (WTVQ)- The dangerous heat is back and so is the concern about heat-related deaths, especially children left in hot cars. It’s why Nicholasville emergency responders are warning you to check your back seats.

“It’s kind of crazy that people would think that that’s okay but the reality is that that car, in a matter of minutes, is probably 20-30 degrees hotter with the windows rolled up,” said Sergeant Kevin Grimes of the Nicholasville Police Department.

It’s a reality that causes of dozens of child deaths in the country each year across the country. Just this week, Grimes says the department responded to a call of a child being left in the car outside of a Kroger in the city.

“Officers didn’t have to break the window but they were prepared to,” said Grimes. “The parent of the child came out and they have since filed charges on that case.”

While that child is okay, Kentucky currently has laws in place which hold people accountable for first degree wanton endangerment or second degree manslaughter in those cases.

Emergency responders say sometimes it comes down to distractions.

“A child’s core body temperature when it reaches near 104 degrees Fahrenheit can cause heat stroke. So it’s a very serious situation,” said Assistant Fire Chief Marty Kazsuk of the Nicholasville Fire Department.

Kazsuk says it’s important for people to remember to check their back seats. He says there are tips to help remind parents.

“You can put reminders, you can put a brief case or leave your cell phone in the back seat. Or even put a stuffed animal in the front seat as a casual reminder to double check and make sure you haven’t left a child in the car when you get out,” said Kazsuk.

According to the CDC, more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year.
More than 53% of hot car deaths happen when someone forgets a child in the backseat.


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