According to the kidsandcars.org, on average 38 children die each year from heat-related deaths after being left inside motor vehicles. Even the best parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car, and while the consequences can be deadly, vehicular heat stroke is preventable. The following information for parents and families can help avoid a terrible tragedy that unfortunately occurs far too often.
Simple Tips to Avoid Tragedy
Below are some suggestions that parents and caregivers can follow to prevent vehicular heat stroke in children:
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- “Look Before You Lock” – Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
- Create a reminder to check the back seat, perhaps one that can be placed on the rear-view mirror or console.
- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
- If a child goes missing, even for a short period of time, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.
- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible using any means necessary.
- Be especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays. This is when many tragedies occur.
- Use drive-thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump.
Read, Share, Save a Life
Please share these important safety tips with your childcare providers, teachers, relatives, friends, family and neighbors… It could save a life!