MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The heatwave gripping the nation is posing a risk for small children. According to the National Safety Council, 23 kids have died in 2016 after being left in hot cars.READ MORE: Broward School Officials Go Looking For Unenrolled Students
Even though the problem is more common in the summer, experts say heatstroke in a closed car can even happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees.
But one automaker’s new technology could reduce that risk.
Reggie McKinnon’s his 17-month-old daughter Payton died after he forgot to drop her off at daycare following a doctor’s appointment. He drove back to work, just one block from Payton’s daycare.
“When I opened the back door to the vehicle, you know that’s the moment that my life and my family’s life changed forever. I found Payton, still in her car seat,” he said.
Deborah Hersman is the former chair of the NTSB and now runs the National Safety Council.
“It’s such a tragic death, it’s very preventable.”READ MORE: First Sunday Morning Science Lab Winners Create Rube Goldberg Machine On Minecraft For Hospitalized Kids
She’s urging parents to “look before they lock” their cars.
“Truly, it’s that we are distracted by the task at hand, we’re not remembering the most precious cargo that’s in the backseat,” she said.
General Motors is working to prevent these types of accidents.
The new technology built into the 2017 GMC Acadia is the first of its kind to alert drivers if a rear door was opened prior to the start of their current drive. It’s a simple reminder that could save a life.
The warning system on the Acadia is coming to other GM models in the near future.
There are also apps that can you remind you there is a child in the car.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
And experts recommend parents put their purse, wallet or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder.