NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Kids and Car Safety is partnering with PETA for the #HotCarsKill campaign to raise awareness about the danger of hot cars.

Children and pets dying or being injured in hot cars is a public health problem. The good news is the tragedies are preventable.

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Kids and Car Safety collected data showing some 8,000 children were left alone in hot cars or gained access into unoccupied cars between 1990 and 2020. Of those, more than 990 children lost their lives due to heatstroke and more than 1,200 children were injured.

“This new campaign is vital and much appreciated because we all need to work together to ensure children or pets are never left alone in a vehicle,” said Kids and Car Safety President Janette Fennell.

Since 2020, PETA documented more than 30 companion animals that have died from heat-related causes.

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Both children and dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke due to their inability to regulate their body temperature. A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult and dogs are unable to sweat causing their body temperature to rise quickly to deadly levels.

“Temperatures inside a parked car soar to dangerous heights in just minutes, so even a ‘quick errand’ can turn deadly for a dog or a child locked inside,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.

Over the past 30 years, child hot car deaths have continued to trend upwards despite education programs and public awareness. On May 12, 2021, the Hot Cars Act (H.R. 3164) was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill calls for technology that can detect the presence of an unattended occupant inside a vehicle and alert the driver and/or others.

During the 2019–2020 legislative session, the Hot Cars Act passed the House as part of the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2) — but failed to pass in the Senate.

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According to Kids and Car Safety, the type of technology called for in the bill is readily available and inexpensive.

CBSDFW.com Staff