Maricopa County launches annual hot car death awareness campaign

May 20, 2019, 11:44 AM | Updated: Jun 18, 2019, 12:07 pm
child car seat...
(Facebook Photo/Child Safety Tech)
(Facebook Photo/Child Safety Tech)

PHOENIX — The temperatures in metro Phoenix might be lower than normal, but the risk of hot car deaths for young children and animals is just as high.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office launched its annual Don’t Leave Me Behind campaign Monday to raise awareness among parents and guardians to not leave kids or pets in cars.

Despite Monday’s forecast calling for a high temperature of 75 degrees, Attorney Bill Montgomery said temperatures could increase inside a vehicle as much as 20 degrees in 20 minutes.

“Even in weather like this, if you’ve got the windows rolled up, the temperature might be down but the sun is shining on a vehicle,” Montgomery told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday.

“If you’re talking about small children, infants, they can’t regulate their body heat. And, unfortunately, that’s all it would take to have what is so preventable of a tragedy of occurring.”

The vehicular heatstroke campaign will continue through Aug. 31. The 2018 campaign went off without a hitch, with zero deaths in Maricopa County from children or pets being left in a hot vehicle.

But there has already been at least one hot car-related death in the Valley this year: A 1-year-old girl died in April after being left in a hot car for hours. Temperatures had reached the upper 80s that day.

Montgomery said tragic deaths such as that one are entirely preventable.

“It all kind of revolves around the basic excuse of, ‘I forgot. I was just going to run inside for a little bit, I didn’t expect it to take this long.’ But ultimately it usually gets back to, ‘I wasn’t thinking, I was out of my routine, I just forgot,'” he said.

The attorney’s office, Montgomery said, will charge parents or guardians with child abuse in hot car deaths if there is evidence of them disregarding responsibility or a “mental state reflecting a degree of recklessness or disregard for that child.

“We will hold people accountable.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

FILE - Protesters gather outside the Capitol to voice their dissent with an abortion ruling, Friday...
Associated Press

Arizona clinic has workaround for abortion pill ban

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix abortion clinic has come up with a way for patients who can end their pregnancy using a pill to get the medication quickly without running afoul of a resurrected Arizona law that bans most abortions. Under the arrangement that began Monday, patients will have an ultrasound in Arizona, get a […]
20 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@PHXFire)...

Phoenix firefighters battle multiple fires caused by storm activity

Phoenix Fire Department crews tended to incidents caused by Monday's storms, including two greater alarm fires.
20 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Woman hospitalized following crash involving vehicle and train in Sun City

A woman was hospitalized Monday afternoon after a vehicle and train were involved in a collision in Sun City, authorities said.
20 hours ago
(Facebook Photos L-R/Kimberly Yee, Martin Quezada)...

Watch: Arizona state treasurer candidates Kimberly Yee, Martin Quezada debate

State treasurer candidates for Arizona Kimberly Yee and Martin Quezada faced off in a debate Monday night.
20 hours ago
(AZ511 Photo)...

More than 40,000 Valley residents see outages while dust storm passes

More than 40,000 residents experienced power outages Monday afternoon while a dust storm passed through the Valley.
20 hours ago
(Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Photo)...

Tornado damages residential properties in northern Arizona, winds reach 100 mph

A tornado damaged 8-10 residences in the Junipine Estates north of Williams Monday afternoon, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office announced. 
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Maricopa County launches annual hot car death awareness campaign