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CHILD HEATSTROKES: OK ranks top 15 for car related heat deaths

Credit Channel 2 KJRH
Posted at 5:25 PM, Jun 19, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — The splash pad off of Riverside is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day, but it also means a risk of heat strokes in kids, especially when left in cars.

"It's terrible. I never could imagine forgetting about her," said Mikaleh Knight.

Mikaleh Knight has a two-year-old daughter and understands how hot it can get during this time of the year for both her and her child.

"Especially because as soon as you turn off the car, you're like, ugh, get me out of here, so imagine how your kids in the back are feeling with the car seat snuggie," Knight said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One in four children left in a hot car dies each year. Oklahoma ranks 12th in the nation when it comes to this issue. The state had 4 heatstroke-related deaths with children in 2020. Two happened in Tulsa.

Back in 2020, we covered Dustin Dennis from Tulsa. He was sentenced to four years in prison for leaving his two children unsupervised in a hot car - where they died of heatstroke.

Cheyenne Trent, the mother of the children, sent us this statement saying, "His choices caused their deaths, and he got only 4 years… we need to talk about how the justice system fails."

Now mothers like Mikaleh have advice for avoiding this tragedy. For example she leaves her purse in the back seat by her daughter as a reminder to grab her out the back before leaving the car.

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