Organization Encourages Action to Prevent Heat-Related Death in Children

Every 10 days, across the United States, a child dies from being unattended in a hot car.

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children.

Safe Kids, a national organization with a goal to bring awareness to a variety of safety-related topics involving children, is now asking parents and caregivers to ACT.

Officials note that remembering this simple anagram can save the lives of children.

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by NEVER leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And, make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.

C: Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or another memento in your child’s car seat when it is empty and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel wants you to call. They are trained to respond.

According to noheatstroke.org, as of July 3rd, 2018, 763 children have died due to pediatric vehicular heatstroke since 1998.

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Additionally, experts note the importance of teaching children not to play in cars.

  • Make sure to lock your vehicle (doors and the trunk) when you’re away from it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
  • Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play.
  • If your child is missing, immediately check swimming pools, vehicles, and trunks. Get kids who are locked in cars out as soon as possible. If you can’t do so quickly, dial 911 right away. Emergency personnel is trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.

Officials explain there are additional safety measures you can take to ensure you never forget your child in the backseat.

  • If you regularly drop your child off at child care, create a calendar reminder on your phone or computer to make sure you’ve done so.
  • Make arrangements for your child care provider to call you right away if your child doesn’t show up at the expected time. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at child care. Heatstroke incidents often occur when people’s routine is disrupted.

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