Join AAA
Join AAA


Current news and information regarding government affairs, gas and travel information.

Search below using state and category

Leslie Gamble
Manager, Public & Government Affairs
O: (405) 753-8040
C: (405) 488-7611

Jennifer Haugh
Manager, Public and Government Affairs, KS
O: (785) 438-6554 ext. (5306554)
C: (785) 438-0600


Heat Dome Prompts AAA Oklahoma Warning:

Never leave a child alone in a car.

Oklahoma #2 in Deaths Per Capita of Children in Hot Cars




July 14, 2022 – Relentless triple-digit temperatures are prompting AAA Oklahoma to issue an alert: Take precautions to never leave a child in a vehicle – even for a few minutes.


“The temperature inside a car can spike to life-threatening levels within minutes in this heat,” according to Leslie Gamble, AAA Oklahoma Public and Government Affairs manager. “A child’s body temperature escalates much quicker than an adult’s. The danger in this intense heat cannot be underestimated.”


Oklahoma has the nation’s second highest deaths per capita of children in hot cars*. Ten children have died already this year in the U.S.*Fortunately, none of those have been in Oklahoma, and none occurred last year in the state due to pediatric heatstroke. In 2020, however, four Oklahoma children lost their lives in hot cars. According to reports, two died after getting into a vehicle without the knowledge of a parent and were unable to get out. One occurred as a parent became involved in a conversation with a visitor and didn’t realize one of several children in his care was still in the vehicle after that unexpected interaction occurred. The fourth child who died was inadvertently left in a vehicle by a mother who reported exhaustion and sleep deprivation that likely affected her judgement.


“All these scenarios can occur to well-meaning and responsible parents,” said Gamble, AAA Oklahoma spokesperson. “Changes in routines often trigger situations that lead to heatstroke deaths. So, especially as temperatures surge, we urge parents and caregivers to take specific precautions to prevent child heatstroke in vehicles. Simple, but consistent steps can prevent the unimaginable grief of the loss of a child.”


Gamble urges parents to say the phrase created by Safe Kids, “Park. Look. Lock.” as a conscious reminder each time they turn their cars off after driving. Intentionally going through the steps of looking in the back seat after parking and before locking the car can prevent situations, resulting from temporary mind lapses or even communications mix-ups regarding transporting a child.


Safe Kids also recommends internalizing the acronym A-C-T to avoid child entrapment in a hot car:


A – Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.


C – Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, purse or backpack in the backseat when traveling with your child.


T – Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 9-1-1. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations.


Entrapment in hot vehicles has led to 36 deaths of children, ages 14 or younger, in Oklahoma in the past 23 years, according to “100% of these tragedies are preventable,” Gamble said. “All Oklahomans who care for children must be hyper-vigilant especially during this extended heat wave. It happens one conversation at a time among all those involved with children.”




About AAA:

AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 62 millionmembers nationwide and more than 400,000members in Oklahoma.AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.AAA is anon-stock, membership corporation workingon behalf of motorists, who can map a route, access aCOVID travel restriction map, find local gas prices andelectric vehicle charging stations,discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app ( for iPhone, iPad and Android.For more information on joining or renewing a Membership,


# # #

Related Articles

public affairs

Keeping Member's interests at the forefront

Contacts by region

fuel price finder

Find the lowest gas price in your area

Find prices

gas information

Tools, tips and other resources

learn more


Local news stories & information

Watch now