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County attorney changes hot car campaign goal after two kids die

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office rolled back its heat campaign goals after two Phoenix-area children died after being left in a hot car over the weekend.

When the program was launched this year, the office hoped to avoid any hot car deaths for 123 days — a full summer. That was reset Monday to 34 days.

“This summer, we only made it 89 days into our campaign,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a video. “We are committed to ensuring the remaining days are free of the tragic loss of a young life.”

A 7-month-old boy died Friday, while a 1-year-old boy died Saturday. Montgomery said their deaths and others could have been prevented.

“Please remember to never leave a child or a pet unattended in a parked car, not even for a minute, not even with the windows cracked and no matter what the temperature is outside,” he said.

During last year’s campaign, there were no deaths in hot cars. It was the first time in years that Montgomery’s office had recorded a summer without a single death of a child or animal in a hot car.

report earlier this year showed that Arizona had the fourth-most child vehicular heat stroke deaths in the country between 1998 and 2016.

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