12 children died of heat stroke in unattended cars in U.S. so far

The heat advisory the Bay Area experience last weekend is a good reminder that has arrived.

It’s not only a time for beaches and camp, but San Jose State University lecturer and longtime meteorologist Jan Null warns that parents must remember not to leave their children in cars on hot days. He said 12 children have died of heatstroke this year in unattended car so far this year in the United States. A total of 712 children have died this way since 1998, he said.

And while there are many ways to prevent this tragedy, the California Highway Patrol said breaking into a car to save a child falls in a legal gray area, though a law passed last year that allows anyone to break into a car to rescue an animal.

Here are some facts:
•  54 percent of child vehicular heatstroke deaths occur when a caregiver is distracted or accidentally leaves a child in a vehicle.  Nearly half of these cases, the child was supposed to be dropped off at childcare or preschool.

•  A child's body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adults.

•  The temperature in a closed vehicle can rise 43 degrees in 1 hour, with the biggest rise in the first 20 minutes.

For more information on safety tips, click on Kids And Cars heat stroke tips.