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The warnings and horror stories about what happens when children or pets are forgotten have been circulated many times — as they will continue to. But according to No Heat Stroke, a website that tracks the number of children who die of heatstroke after being in hot cars, that number is dropping. The average number of deaths per year, according to the website, has been around 38 each year from 1998 to 2020, though in 2020 it only lists 25 deaths. Obviously, the best number would be zero, but it’s stories like these and other tactics that have helped raise people’s awareness of the danger of leaving a child in a car. Last week, two families in Phoenix had a close brush with loss, but thanks to their immediate calls for help and the quick response of police, no lives were lost. On July 6, when it was 102 degrees and rising, a mother called 911 to plead for help. She’d accidentally locked her keys in the van. The car was off, the windows were rolled up and her 2-year-old and 2-month-old were stuck inside. In these sorts of situations, time is of the essence.

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