Make sure to check the back seat: RAA, AAA host hot car re-enactment to combat child heatstroke

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As the weather warms up for the summer, it is going to get even hotter inside your car. Richmond Ambulance Authority has teamed up with AAA to remind parents — Don’t leave your kids behind.

On an 80-degree day, the temperature in your car can rise to over 109 degrees in just 30 minutes. For babies left in the car, it can be deadly even with the windows cracked.

According to AAA, nearly 1,000 children have died in hot car incidents across the nation since 1990. Last year alone, 25 children died with two of them coming from Virginia.

On average, there are 39 children who die from hot car incidents each year in the United States.

During a reenactment today at Richmond Ambulance Authority, a simulated 9-1-1 call was played before paramedics arrived to ‘save’ a baby-sized CPR mannequin.

Carter Boaze is a mother of two boys and was at the simulation on Friday.

“Very concerning to me, I got chills from the reenactment. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Unlike some, this is completely preventable,” Boaze said. “It might seem like it is OK to leave your kids in the car for a moment, but it is never OK. If there is the slightest chance that they could be in there for any amount of time unattended, it is never OK.”

Ambulance Authority CEO Chip Decker said these 9-1-1 calls happen more than you’d think.

“When a call comes in for a child locked in a hot car, it can turn into a tragedy quickly. Cars heat up fast,” Decker said. “One child dies from heatstroke nearly every ten days in the United States from being left in a car or crawling into an unlocked vehicle. In almost every case the deaths could have been prevented.”

Hannah Rhudy, a sophomore at James River High, founded the BabyIn BabyOut nonprofit after hearing about twins dying in a car when she was only 12 years old.

She created a tag for your review mirror so you don’t forget your baby in the car.

“Hopefully it just serves as a free visual reminder so parents remember to look in the back of their seat,” Rhudy said. “Even if they aren’t actively flipping their tag, hopefully the neon colors remind people that their child is back there.”

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