Professor says child deaths in hot cars are not a new phenomenon

Lauren Sardi

A 15-month-old boy died on Monday in Ridgefield after being left unattended inside a hot car. Lauren Sardi, assistant professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is available to comment.

"Since 2000, more than 500 children have died in cars from being forgotten or intentionally placed in the car with the windows cracked," Sardi said "However, according to, each year since 2000 has been relatively variable in terms of the number of child deaths. The years 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2013 all saw more than 40 children die in hot cars, while 2006 had the lowest number of reported deaths at slightly under 40. The main cause of these unintentional deaths is usually a change in schedule of the parents. Fathers are more likely to forget their children in cars than are mothers. There are a number of tactics that people suggest in order to lessen the likelihood of forgetting your child, such as putting your purse, cell phone, wallet, or even shoe in the back seat as a reminder to check there before you leave the car. "

To speak to Sardi, please call John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, at 203-206-4449 (cell) or 203-582-5359 (office).

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