One in 7 children that died from vehicular heatstroke in the United States died in Texas. More children die in hot cars on average in Texas than any other state. It's not something we want to lead the nation with.

To be fair, Texas is large and gets quite hot. But we still need to do everything we can to avoid these entirely preventable deaths.

Even if it's only 80 degrees outside (which is practically chilly in a Texas summer), the interior of a car, even with cracked windows, climbs to 99 degrees in only 10 minutes. Realizing that it's never okay to leave children alone in a parked vehicle is step one to preventing child heat stroke. Of course, this also applies to pets, elders and the disabled.

More than half of these deaths are because parents forgot the child was in the car. If you're a new parent or changing up your normal routine, set a reminder on your phone before you leave the house.

Here are some more great tips from

1. Be extra alert if your routine changes. That's when the risk of unintentionally leaving your child in your car increases.

2. Put something of your child's, like a toy, on the front seat. Even if you can't see your child in the backseat (especially if he's in a rear-facing car seat), the toy should trigger a reminder that he's there.

3. Leave an item you'll need at your next destination in the backseat, such as your cell phone, purse, or briefcase.

4. Place your child's car seat in the middle of the backseat rather than behind the driver. That way, it's easier to see her in your rearview mirror.

5. Set up a system with your child-care provider. If you don't plan to drop off your child that day, call her. If the child doesn't arrive as expected, have the caregiver call you.

Additionally, children should be taught that vehicles are not play areas, as some of these deaths happen when children accidentally trap themselves inside cars or in the truck. It also goes without saying that playing around a vehicle is also a way to get backed-over, with 40 percent of back-over deaths occuring at home.

In 2017, seven children died in Texas from vehicular heatstroke. And as of this article's publication, one child has died in 2018. Let's make that the last time this year a year a child in Texas dies in a hot car.



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