Episode 153: Hot Car Deaths on Suffer the Little Children Podcasts

Episode 153: Hot Car Deaths

Since 1990, well over 1,050 children in the United States have died after being left in hot cars. An untold number of additional kids have been left with permanent brain damage and other long-term injuries. The largest percentage of these kids were unknowingly left in a vehicle by a parent or caregiver. No one wants to believe their brain is capable of this kind of failure. Many place blame on these parents, accusing them of using drugs or alcohol or of being inattentive, neglectful, abusive, or even murderous. In reality, most kids who die in hot cars have loving, caring, sober, and even overprotective parents.

In this episode, I’ll attempt to reduce the stigma surrounding hot car deaths by digging into how these tragedies happen to people just like you and me You’ll hear my conversation with Dr. David Diamond, a renowned neuroscientist who has spent decades studying the neurobiology of memory and has testified at countless hot car death trials. You’ll also hear my conversation with Janette Fennell, the founder and president of Kids and Car Safety, a nonprofit agency dedicated to saving the lives of children in and around motor vehicles, whose work has led to legislation mandating multiple life-saving technologies in newly-manufactured vehicles.

This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at https://betterhelp.com/STLC, and get on your way to being your best self.

Sample letter to send your members of Congress for mandated technology to prevent hot car deaths: https://sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/hot-car-letter.pdf

Kids and Car Safety

Gene Weingarten’s Washington Post article, “Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?

Susan Morgan Cooper’s Documentary, Fatal Distraction, on IMDB

Dr. David Diamond’s curriculum vitae

Cover photo by Anastasia Shuraeva.

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $5 per month can listen to my weekly episodes ad free, while $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

You can also support the podcast at Ko-Fi.com/STLCpod.

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Published by


I'm a mom of two, a bit of a smart-ass, and a writer/artistic sort by compulsion.

Leave a Reply