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Oklahoma heat: Preventing death in hot cars

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jun 14, 2019

Around noon on Friday, the temperature outside was only 74 degrees, but inside a car sitting in the sun, it was 114 degrees.

"About 104 degrees or a little higher sets in heat stroke,” Tulsa Fire Department Capt. Joe Sherrell said.

Sadly this year alone, there have been 11 deaths across the U.S.

That’s according to kidsandcars.org. Last year, there were 52 deaths, two in Oklahoma – a 5-year-old from Harrah and a 3-year-old from Oklahoma City.

"There is no more tragic event than a child that's left in a car,” Tulsa Police Department Chief Chuck Jordan said.

TFD says during the summer months last year, it responded to 80 near-misses calls, which are children that are rescued from the car.

Safe Kids Tulsa and AAA want people to create reminders.

"Put this cell phone with your baby, as we already fight an epidemic of distraction in this country,” AAA Oklahoma’s Mark Madeia said. “Maybe this is the best win that there is you are not going to walk off for very long without this phone, and you sure don't need it behind the wheel of a car."

Jordan agrees with that idea, saying many people always will remember their phone and will return to their car to get it.

“We have enacted a ‘forget me not ordinance’ in Tulsa where we have some of these close calls,” Jordan said. “Violators can expected to be ticketed between $50 -$500. We are taking it that seriously."

In May, lawmakers introduced the Hot Cars Act of 2019.

It would require all new passenger vehicles to be equipped with a child safety alert system.

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