How to prevent ‘Hot Car’ deaths

Local News

Savannah’s sweltering summer temperatures can be deadly for anyone outside let anyone inside a hot car. According to the Kids and Cars Organization at least 35 kids have died in hot cars, in Georgia since 1995.

The first hot car death in 2018 happened last week in Kingsland. Police say, Rhae Odum, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children in the second degree. Officials say the baby died from hyperthermia.

According to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office Odum, left her 7-month-old in a hot car at a Quality Inn motel. She is currently being held without bond in the Camden County Jail.

Savannah Police Corporal Sharif Lockett tells News 3 it’s easier to take your children with you instead of leaving them in a car.  

The CDC says within the first 10 minutes the temperature inside a car can rise up to 20 degrees even with the windows cracked.

But Corporal Lockett says what shocking is in some of these fatal cases people intentionally left their kids in the car.

“During these months we see a lot of people go to shopping malls and major department stores and they say that they’re just going to be in for a couple of minutes or maybe even a couple of seconds,” Corporal Lockett said.  “They say they’re going to run in and run back out. And they leave their children in there but the interior of the vehicle can get very hot very rapidly within just a matter of minutes.”

After speaking with Savannah Police we came across a grandmother and her grandchildren while running errands. She took her kids out of the car to go with her.

“These are my grandchildren and they’re more precious than anything else so you just can’t be too busy for that you have to pay attention and look and let that be the last thing that you do before you get out of the car,” Michelle Coleman says.

Here is some safety advice to remember when getting out of the car:

  • Never leave a child in a hot car
  • Put something you need such as a cell phone, purse, or briefcase, on the backseat
  • Get in the habit of opening the back door every time you get out of your car

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