Look before you lock: Parents, lawmakers push to prevent hot-car deaths

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — More than 50 children died last year because they were accidentally left by their parents or caregivers in a hot vehicle.

It’s called vehicular heatstroke and Wednesday on Capitol Hill, lawmakers, safety advocates, first responders and families who have lost loved ones in hot-car incidents vowed to work to prevent more senseless deaths.

“I still have not forgiven myself and don’t know if I have the capacity to do so,” said Miles Harrison of Purcellville, Virginia.

Alongside his wife, Harrison talked about the shame and guilt associated with his fatal mistake. Eleven years ago, he went to work thinking he had dropped his son Chase off at daycare.

“I rushed to my car and as I came upon the side window, I saw Chase,” Harrison recalled.

His son had been in the backseat of his car all day.

“I killed my son, my poor sweet little boy,” Harrison added.

Last year alone, 52 children lost their lives in hot cars and nearly 900 deaths have occurred since 1990.

“Another 50+ this year unless parents do the right thing: look before you lock. That’s common sense but parents are fallible,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut.

Blumenthal says there’s technology available that could alert parents if they accidentally leave a child inside the car. His legislation, the Hot Cars Act, would require new vehicles to include technology that alerts drivers if a child is left alone in the backseat.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, believes the warning should be easy to implement.

“Think of all the bells and whistles that we have in our car. You have to have a warning when you leave your car,” she said.

Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, says as the weather starts to heat up, Congress must act.

“This is the perfect example of something Congress can act on to actually save lives,” Ryan said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Don’t Miss

Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.