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Updated Apr 26, 2013 - 5:00 am

Phoenix fire reminding parents to remove kids from cars

PHOENIX — As Valley residents gear up for sizzling temps this weekend, Phoenix first responders have an important reminder: Don’t forget your children in your car.

“We’ve tested vehicles and noted that, on a 93-degree day, the temperature inside of a vehicle can reach 125 degrees,” said Phoenix Firefighter Larry Nunez.

After a period of time, a small child could be in grave danger.

“Your body starts to shut down. Like light switches, your organs begin to shut down. It’s a slow death,” said Nunez.

according to data from the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University:

Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2012: 32
Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 2011: 33
Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 1998-present: 559
Average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998: 38.

According to the same study, an examination of media reports about the 559 child vehicular heatstroke deaths for an thirteen year period (1998 through 2012) shows the following circumstances:

52 percent – child “forgotten” by caregiver (288 Children).
29 percent – child playing in unattended vehicle (163).
18 percent – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (100).
1 percent – circumstances unknown (8)

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