Monday, July 31 is designated as National Heatstroke Prevention Day, with a special emphasis on keeping kids out of hot cars.

Sue Auriemma with Kids and Cars dot org said her organization and many others are focusing their attention on the dangers children face if they get into a hot car on their own, or are left in a hot car.

"Since we have been tracking data in 1990, we have documented over 800 cases where children have died in a hot vehicle," Auriemma said. "We see on average over 37 children every year, which averages to about one child every nine days. So far this year over 30 children have died, including two this past weekend, and that's a 20 percent increase over last year."

Auriemma said a new bill is being introduced in the U.S. Senate called the Hot Cars Act.

"This bill would serve to require technology on a vehicle to alert a driver if a child, or even a pet were left inside a vehicle," she said. "GM has included what they call the rear seat reminder system, where if you've opened the door within 10 minutes of starting the vehicle, then when you arrive at your destination and turn the car off, you get a very unique chime along with a printed message in the dashboard that says, 'reminder, check the rear seat'."

Get more information locally by visiting Safe Kids Missoula dot org. or visit Kids and Cars dot org.  

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