Safety Tips: Don’t Keep Kids in a Hot Vehicle
Maybe you are just heading into the store for one second. In and out. Won’t take more than a few minutes It’s not that hot out and it’s cloudy. It won’t harm your child if you keep him in the car for a few seconds, right?
Did you know that on average, 37 children die in hot cars every year in the United States? Since 1998, 719 children have died after being left in a hot car. And the numbers keep on rising — according to the National Safety Council, in 2016 alone more than twice as many children died in hot cars than all individuals who died in tornadoes that year.
And it looks like we’re on track for another increase — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there have already been 19 deaths that are linked to a child being left in a hot car. Heatstroke is the leading cause of passenger vehicle non-crash related fatalities for children 14 and younger.
What can you do to prevent heatstroke from occurring? Here are a few safety tips from the NHTSA:
- Of course, there’s the obvious — never leave your child alone in a parked car. Even if you have the air conditioning on or the windows rolled down. Remember that a child’s body temperature can heat up three to five times quicker than an adult’s.
- It doesn’t have to be an overly hot day for heatstroke to occur. In fact, heatstroke can occur as low as 57 degrees, even in cloudy weather.
- Teach your children that vehicles are not play areas.
- Always check your vehicle before leaving. That means look in the front and back seat. You may want to set up a reminder system, such as a reminder on your cell phone or a writing a note on the dashboard.
- If you see a child in alone in a hot vehicle, make sure the child is responsive. If he/she is, then locate the parents immediately. If not, call 911 immediately and try to get into the car to assist the child.
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