More Than 20 Deaths This Year After Children Are Left In Hot Cars

It's mid summer, and as such it's time for an important safety reminder - never, ever leave your child alone...
It's mid summer, and as such it's time for an important safety reminder - never, ever leave your child alone in your vehicle. Although it may seem like common sense not to leave your child in a car alone, especially during the hot summer months, that doesn't change the fact that there's already been more than 20 child deaths this year due to hyperthermia resulting from children being left alone in a hot car. Because of this, Safe Kids USA is reminding caregivers to NEVER leave children alone in vehicles. Safe Kids USA says:
"According to a national survey done by the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) 45 percent of parents think it is "very unlikely" a child in their neighborhood could "die from the heat after being left alone in the car," yet on average this occurs 38 times a year."
Children die tragically every year from being trapped in a sweltering car or truck – and these deaths can occur at temperatures as low as the mid-50s. It only gets worse as heat waves across the country happen. Children are especially vulnerable to overheating and dehydration. According to Lorrie Walker, Child Passenger Safety Training Manager of Safe Kids Worldwide, "The inside of a car acts like a greenhouse, a place no child should be alone. Because children's bodies heat up by as much as five times faster than adults, this makes them much more susceptible to heat stroke." Safe Kids USA offers the following tips for parents and caregivers: 1) Lock cars and trucks and place care keys out of reach of your child. 30% of the recorded heat stroke deaths in the U.S. occur because a child was playing in an unattended vehicle. 2) Create reminders. Many child heat stroke deaths occur because parents and caregivers become distracted and exit their vehicle without their child. To help prevent these tragedies parents can:
  • Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or something that is needed at your next stop on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This will help you see your child when you open the rear door and reach for your belongings.
  • Set the alarm on your cell phone/Smartphone as a reminder to you to drop your child off at day care.
  • Set your computer calendar program to ask, "Did you drop off at child care today?" Establish a plan with your child care provider that if your child fails to arrive within an agreed upon time that you will be called within a few minutes. Be especially mindful of your child if you change your routine for child care.
3) Dial 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a car. EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble. The body temperature of children rises 3 – 5 times faster than adults, and, as a result, children are much more vulnerable to heat stroke. Check vehicles and trunks FIRST if a child is missing. For more information on preventing child heat stroke deaths, please visit Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles and Safe Kids Car Safety Page.

Tags: auto safety for baby baby in car baby left in car


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