NewsCovering Colorado


Preventing hot car deaths

Posted at 10:33 AM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 18:47:07-04

Record-breaking heat has moved into Colorado this week, so now is the time to start checking you car for children and pets.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 886 children have died from being left in hot cars since 1998.

Last year, 24 children died from heatstroke in hot cars. In Colorado, 7 children have died since 2001.

The majority of hot car deaths (53%) happen because a caregiver forgot a child in their car.

About 46% of the time, a child was forgotten in a hot car when the caregiver meant to drop them off at a daycare or preschool.

Nearly 75% of all children who are forgotten and die in hot cars are less than 2 years old.

A car in 90-degree heat can reach an internal temperature of 124 degrees within 30 minutes.

Hot car temperature graph
The interior temperatures of a car over time in 90 degree heat.

After an hour, the car can reach an interior temperature of 133 degrees.

To put that in perspective, the "keep warm" function on an oven is usually somewhere between 170 to 200 degrees.

90 degree days COS and PUB.jpg
Number of 90 degree or higher days on average in Colorado Springs and Pueblo

So far this year, Colorado Springs has seen 3 days where it's been 90 degrees or warmer, and Pueblo has seen 12 days.

On average, Colorado Springs sees 23 days at 90 degrees or higher, and Pueblo sees 72.

2020 was a particularly hot year with both Colorado Springs and Pueblo both seeing more 90 degree or warmer days than ever before.