Auto industry stepping up effort to remind parents not to leave kids in cars

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The auto industry and local organizations are stepping up their efforts to remind parents not to forget their children in the back seat of their cars.

The charitable organization Kars4Kids has created an app that sets off an alarm and reminds parents that their babies are in the backseat. The app can even have a photo of the child, along with an alert that says “Remember to take your child from the car.”

“People really don’t realize that it could’ve happened to you. It really could’ve,” says Wendy Kirwan with Kars4Kids.

RELATED: Authorities: Miscommunication may have led to child being left to die inside hot car 

Kirwan says the organization has long pushed an awareness campaign about how quickly temperatures can rise in a locked car. It can take only 10 to 20 minutes for temperatures to rise 20 degrees.

“In a lot of these stories that you hear, that’s all the parents needed – was just a reminder that, ‘Hey, there’s a kid in the backseat,’” she says.

A 21-month-old girl died in Lakewood Monday after her parents forgot she was in the back of their vehicle. By the time a neighbor saw that the child was left inside, it was too late.

Car manufacturers are also responding. The GMC Acadia and Terrain both have alarms and show an alert on the dash that reads “Look in the rear seat” to remind parents.

According to, 801 children have died of heat stroke after being left inside cars since 1998. In 2018, 52 children died.

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