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Local expert weighs in on hot car deaths

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 20:34:29-04

TULSA, Okla. — This past weekend, Tegan and Ryan Dennis died after spending several hours in their father's hot car.

Dustin Dennis was arrested and charged with two counts of second degree murder.

However, according to Tulsa Police, video footage shows the children getting in the car on their own while their father was asleep inside.

READ MORE: DA: Father released on bond after video shows two children got into truck on their own

According to the National Safety Council, 52 children died in 2019 from heat related injuries after being left in a hot car.

Safety expert Beth Washington with Safe Kids Tulsa said some of the common errors happen when parents change their routine.

"Maybe mom typically takes Suzy to the daycare, but this time it's dad." Washington said. "His mind maybe be driving on work."

Washington said parents should work with their child's daycare to set up check in calls, if the child has not been dropped off by a certain time.

Washington also said simple steps like leaving something important in the backseat will force a parent to check the backseat before getting out of the car.

"That way you know I need my purse, I need my shoe, whatever my briefcase." Washington said "It causes you to open up that back door.”

Washington said it is never acceptable to leave a child in a hot car for any amount of time. Even if you think it will only be a minute.

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