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Can we prevent another child from dying in hot car?

Posted at 7:06 AM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 10:06:38-04

PHOENIX — Tuesday’s death of a 4-month-old in Phoenix marked the fourth hot car death in Arizona so far this year.

According to kidsandcars.org, Arizona is among the top 5 states for most car deaths.

As Phoenix police investigate the incident, we’re asking experts if there’s anything that can be done to prevent another tragedy from happening.

According to the National Safety Council, more than half of hot car deaths happen because the children are simply forgotten.

Some lobbyists are trying to require automakers to adopt new technology to help prevent this. Some of those automakers have made a promise to do so, but it’s still not required.

Some apps have also been created. But when it comes down to it, experts say human error can still happen.

Erin O’Connor created an app to try to help parents remember their child is in the backseat. He says it only takes a slight change in a parent’s schedule for the parent to forget a child. That was the case last month when a 3-year-died after she was left in the backseat of her parent’s car outside their Gilbert home.

“You have this outside distraction, this new task in your life, that you need to accomplish in which in many cases, it’s the presence of a child. The other part is your pattern mental muscle memory, and this one is stronger than this one,” said O’Connor.

Advocates offer some suggestions like leaving your left shoe in the backseat or placing a purse with your child. First responders encourage parents to come up with a plan that works for them.