Purple ribbon month urges to educate community on dangers of leaving kids in hot cars

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - It takes just minutes. 

Leaving a child behind in a car can be deadly, and this month Bakersfield community leaders are urging people to get educated on just how dangerous these deadly temperatures can be.

"As little as 10 to 15 minutes that car can be hot already..even with the windows cracked," said Pediatrician Fernando Phan.

This year, nationwide, 19 children have died after being left in hot cars. The most recent death was a 3-year-old boy in Sylmar on Wednesday. In California, three children have died and one was here in Kern County. 

23ABC tested out just how hot a car can get in the scorching temperatures

In just 30 minutes the temperature in a car went from 86 degrees to 111 degrees.

"If you don't have children, develop a routine of looking in other peoples' cars, and when you do have children you have to make sure kids understand this [the car]  is not a play thing," said Heidi Carter-Escudero with the Department of Human Services. 

According to researches at San Francisco State, most of these deaths are considered accidents. 

Only 18 percent of the time do parents purposely leave their child in a hot car. 52 percent of the time the incident is considered an accidental leave behind, and 30 percent of the time children are the one gaining access to the cars. 

"It could happen to anybody, that's the main message I want to get out there," said Phan.

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