LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – A new study finds more kids are becoming locked or trapped in parked cars in the scorching summer heat.
So far, 18 kids have died this year, a record-setting number. Eight children have died in just the last couple of weeks.
Most fatalities usually occur in July. On average, 37 children die as a result of being locked or trapped inside cars each year.
Some parents said there is no excuse of parents who leave their kids inside their cars.
"If you're not responsible enough and you're leaving your kid in the car, you're not responsible enough to raise your kid," said Gary Fontenot, a Lake Area parent.
Experts said no matter what the temperature is outside, the inside of a car can heat up fast.
"You have 90 degree weather outside plus that inside car temperature is going to get up to 110, 120 real quick, especially if the engine's not running," said Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Ricky Edwards.
Experts advise parents to get into the routine of checking their back seats whenever they travel somewhere. They also said parents should keep car doors locked and keys out of the reach when at home, so curious children don't wander in and become trapped. When out doing errands, experts said parents should place things they will need to complete those errands, such as bill statements, cell phones, shopping lists and purses, in the back seat, next to their children.