Even though temperatures were in the low 70s midweek for the region, AP reported that a 15-month-old girl died after being left unattended in a car on Wednesday in Dolgeville, N.Y.
Police are still investigating the incident.
On average, 38 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being left inside motor vehicles according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit child safety organization.
Leaving a child in a car, even during mild temperatures, can have deadly consequences. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock)
Car windows act as a catalyst for rapid temperature increases inside the vehicle and Wednesday's tragedy proves that even without scorching heat, there is still the risk of heatstroke death when a child is left in a vehicle.
"If a car is in the sun and the windows are up, temperatures can climb 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. Cars with dark interiors heat up the fastest.
A total of 44 children died of heatstroke after being left in a car in 2013 according to Jan Null, CCM at San Francisco State University.
As a heat wave grips the Southwest this weekend, parents and caregivers should take extra caution.
Above-average temperatures are expected to linger throughout next week, on track with the AccuWeather.com summer forecast of above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall for the Southwest over the next few months.
Safercar.gov recommends checking the back seat of the car each time before locking the doors.
Here are other tips from Safercar.gov and KidsandCars.org that could prevent any child from a heat-related vehicle death:
2. Keep a large teddy bear or stuffed animal in the car seat when it's empty. Move the teddy bear when the child is in the car seat as a visual reminder. Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, brief case, etc., in the backseat.
3. Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in the garage.
4. If you see an unattended child in a car, call 911 immediately.
5. Be vigilant about always checking the backseat before you lock the doors.
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