FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT)- The Kentucky State Police have issued a warning to remind parents not to leave a child alone in a hot car. Police say law enforcement agencies answer calls every year about unattended children in vehicles.
KidsandCars.org reported that 39 children died in the U.S. during 2016 from vehicular heat stroke.
Kentucky State Police Lt. Michael Webb said vehicle heat stroke is often misunderstood, and a majority of parents are misinformed and would like to believe that they could never "forget" their child in a vehicle.
"The most dangerous mistake a parent can make is to think leaving a child alone in their car could never happen to them," Webb said. "In these fast-paced times, it is easy for parents to get distracted and forget their child is in the car with them."
Webb said that the interior of a car heats up very quickly and temperatures inside can reach 125 degrees in minutes.
"A child's body heats up three to five times faster than that of an adult," Webb said. "The temperature inside a car can rise 19 degrees in 10 minutes. Together, this can be deadly in a very short period of time."
Kentucky passed "Bryan's Law" in 2000, which makes a person liable for a second-degree manslaughter or first-degree wanton endangerment for leaving a child younger than eight years old in a motor vehicle where circumstances pose a grave risk of death.
Police have offered the following safety tips:
• Never leave a child in an unattended car, even with the windows down.
• Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don't overlook sleeping babies.
• Always lock your car. If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
• Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is put in the seat, place the animal in the front with the driver as a reminder.
• Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
• Make ‘look before you leave’ a routine whenever you get out of the car.
Police have also asked citizens to keep an eye out for children left in vehicles on hot days and to call 911 if they think the occupant is in danger.