LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) Kentucky is on the list of worst states for hot car deaths involving kids, according to noheatstroke.org.
Health officials say it can take only 10 minutes for a car to heat up 20 more degrees. It can take less time than that for a child to suffer heat stroke.
Noheatstroke.org says that 17 children in Kentucky have died from heatstrokes inside of vehicles between 1998 and 2017. This makes the Commonwealth one of the 10 worst states for pediatric vehicular heat stroke deaths per capita.
Health officials said that the numbers are alarming and serve as an important reminder never to leave children in a car. They said it doesn’t take 90-degree temperatures for it to be deadly.
"You never want to leave a child unattended in a car. Even if it’s just for a short amount of time cause 10 minutes can be fatal, it’s too long and one death can be prevented, and should be prevented. It’s something health officials and law enforcement officials really want to get through to people," said Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
Health officials said that even the best parents can forget at times. They recommend you put your purse or cell phone in the back seat with your child as an extra reminder they are there.
Nationally, 13 children have already died after being left in hot cars this year.