The number of children who have tragically died in hot cars in the US this year has already surpassed the annual average of 38, according to new figures.

The National Safety Council (NSC) says 40 children have died of pediatric vehicular heatstroke in 2019. The figure follows 53 deaths in 2018 – the worst record to date.

Automakers this month announced a voluntary pledge to add rear-seat reminder systems to new vehicles by 2025.

Now, the NSC is calling for automakers to “move fast on their commitment”.

It also urges parents and caregivers to:

  • Always look before you lock
  • Teach children that cars are not play areas
  • Keep vehicles locked even in driveways and garages
  • Keep keys and key fobs out of the reach of children so they cannot gain access to vehicles

The NSC provides free online training, Children in Hot Cars, that provides information about why cars heat up so quickly, why children can succumb to increasing temperatures in cars, and what parents, caregivers and others can do to prevent such tragedies.