SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – With summer quickly approaching and warmer temperatures already around, local police are reminding people to look in their backseat before they lock their vehicles.

According to the Spartanburg Police Department, on average, 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.

Those numbers were higher in 2018 and 2019 with 53. Police said the victims were either left or became trapped in a hot car.

The police department provided the following tips to prevent such child deaths:

  • Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended, even if the windows are open, motor running and A/C on.
  • Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle—front & back—before locking the doors and walking away.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call if your child does not show up for care as scheduled.
  • Place items you need, such as a purse or laptop, in the backseat as a reminder to look before you lock.
  • Store keys out of the reach of children and teach them the vehicle is not a play area.

Police said that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than the average adult.