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Hot car deaths still problem despite push for Congress to require new reminder technology

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ten children have died in hot cars in Indiana since 1990, and 37 kids die every year in the United States from vehicular heatstroke. The group KidsAndCars.Org is raising awareness Wednesday for National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Amber Andreasen, a spokesperson with KidsAndCars.Org, said many people don’t realize a child can die in a hot car even on a cool day. “We have documented cases where the outside temperature is as low as 52 degrees,” said Andreasen. “The inside of your vehicle acts like a greenhouse and 80 percent of heating occurs in the first 10 minutes.” A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult. “It is a recipe for disaster,” Andreasen said. Child advocates say the best thing parents can do is to realize it can happen to them, especially if they’re tired or if they have a change in their normal routine like taking a different vehicle. “You’re putting your child at greater risk if you believe this can’t happen to you,” said Andreasen. “This doesn’t just happen to monsters.” Experts recommend checking your back seat every time you park your car. You could place your purse, laptop or work ID in the back so that you’re forced to check the backseat. You can also have day care, school or a relative call you if your little one doesn’t show up as planned. “Most of the time this happens, the child was supposed to have been dropped off at day care,” said Andreasen. “That phone call could save their life.” Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) urged  Congress Wednesday to pass the Hot Cars Act of 2017 which would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to issue a final rule within 2 years requiring new vehicles to be equipped with a visual and auditory alert system to remind parents to check the rear seat. 
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