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Health experts warning parents to double-check backseats as summer weather approaches


Experts say dozens of children lose their lives each year after being left in a hot car.

This is experts remind parents and caregivers to double-check their back seats as Missouri heads into the hottest months of the year.

On average, 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a car.

MU Health physician Dr. Christopher Sampson says that even on a mild day temperatures can be life-threatening for children left inside a car.

"Even if the temperatures are as low as in the 70s, if the vehicles closed and all the windows are shut...even within an hour that temperature can rise within 100 degrees inside the vehicle," said Sampson.

Jasmine Smith, a mother of two-year-old Rive Smith, says leaving her child in her car is a risk she'll never take. Smith says she always makes sure to double-check her backseats.

"I always look in the back seat of my car even whenever I know I don't have her with me sometimes I have that mommy instinct like maybe I'm just paranoid and I forgot to just make and then make sure she's there," said Smith.

Dr. Sampson says there is also new technology in vehicles that can help remind parents their child is in the vehicle. In newer cars, if there is weight in the backseat an alert will go off reminding the driver to double-check their back seat.

For people who don't have this system, Dr. Sampson tells families to always check their back seats. Sampson also says if your car is parked outside always make sure your doors are locked.

"Because there are child deaths that occur each year due to a child climbing inside a stopped vehicle or a vehicle that just sitting inside a driveway and then getting trapped inside the car", said Sampson.

If you don't have a car sensor, there is also an app you can download called Waze. Not only does this app help you beat the traffic but you can turn on the "Child Reminder", to remind yourself to check the back seat when you reach your destination.

For more information about this app click here.

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Kennedy Miller


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