EMS Crews warn public to stay vigilant of children in hot cars

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - Even the most caring parents experience changes in routine, stress, fatigue and simple distractions. This is why, on average, 37 children die each year in the U.S. from heat-related death after being trapped in hot vehicles.

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Grant Trimble, a Mercy EMS Field Supervisor, said his crews have already responded to several reports of children being left in hot cars this summer in the Ozarks.

Across the nation, 21 children have already died this year after being left in hot cars. Trimble said this year numbers could reach, or even surpass, last year's record. "With last year being 52, we're unfortunately still kind of on that track to be around that same number," said Trimble.

Trimble said he and his team are hopeful there is enough education out there to stop these unnecessary deaths. "This is something that should never happen, but obviously it does," he said.

Trimble and the Mercy Injury Prevention Center have several safety suggestions for parents.

- Put something in your back seat to remind you to open your back door every time you travel: a purse, cell phone, briefcase, employee ID, etc.
- Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat when your child is not around and put it in the front seat as a reminder when your child is in the back.
- Ask your babysitter to call you if your child hasn’t arrived at the scheduled time.
- Keep your cars locked. If your child goes missing, immediately check the trunk and the inside of all unlocked cars in the area.
- Never leave keys and remote openers within your child’s reach. Act quickly if your child is trapped inside. Try all the doors and call 911 immediately so you can get your child out quickly.

For more safety tips and information, people can call the Mercy Injury Prevention Center at 417-820-7233.