COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- More than 600 children have died from heat stroke over the past 15 years after they were left in a parked vehicle. More than half of those deaths happened when the child was forgotten in the vehicle.
"It's certainly more common in the summer when it is hotter outside, but actually these types of deaths have been recorded in 11 months out of the year. It can happen even when it's pretty cool outside," said AAA Ohio's Kimberly Schwind.
Temperatures inside a vehicle can rise about 20 degrees within 10 minutes. The body of a child heats up three to five times faster than adults. Cracking windows or parking in the shade don't make much of a difference in keeping the vehicle cool, according to Schwind.
The best suggestion is to always take children out of the vehicle when you get out. Schwind says you can create a system to make sure you don't forget a quiet or sleeping child.
"Leaving the diaper bag in the front seat when you have the child in the backseat or setting reminders on your phone. You can even leave a stuffed toy in the car seat when no child is in the car. Then when the child is in the car you can move that toy to the front seat," Schwind said.
Not all deaths come from children being left in a vehicle. Some come from children playing around vehicles and locking themselves inside.
"Make sure that children know the car is not a jungle gym. It's not a place to play," she said.
She also suggests you always give 911 a call if you spot an unattended child in a vehicle.