FRANKFORT -- With temperatures rising, Kentucky State Police said parents and drivers should be extremely cautious not to leave children in hot cars.

The agency said statistics show deaths of children being left in hot cars are climbing. Last year, 52 children died that way, including three in Kentucky. Police said the safety organization Kids and Cars reports the 2018 total is almost 21% higher than 2017.

State police spokesman Sgt. Josh Lawson said the general public often misunderstands the issue. He said most parents believe they wouldn't forget their child in their vehicle. But he said it is easy to get distracted and forget.

Lawson said sometimes children playing outdoors will lock themselves inside a vehicle, become disoriented from the heat and be unable to escape.

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