(NBC News) It’s still early in the season, but it has already been a deadly summer.
So far at least 14 children have died after being left in hot cars, with four of those deaths in just the last week.
An average of 37 children die each year in hot cars, or one child every nine days.
A simple change of routine can result in tragedy.
Two years ago, Eric Stuyvesant altered his morning routine, taking his wife to work first instead of dropping their son Michael at daycare.
“It’s not that you’re a bad parent, you’ve just gotten into a routine you’ve gotten distracted,” he says.
When he got to work he left 3-year-old Michael in the backseat for more than an hour. The temperature inside his van climbed to 120 degrees.
Michael suffered six heat strokes but survived.
“I just hope somebody’s watching and takes it to heart,” Stuyvesant says. “This was potentially a fatal instance and yet this happens to parents all the time.”
Some automakers are now using technology to alert parents when a child is in the backseat and lawmakers are pushing to make the feature mandatory in all vehicles.