The weather is heating up, and so is the danger that a child will die in a hot car. In fact, five children have already died so far this year:
A boy, 1, died Feb. 6 in Pinecrest, Florida
A boy, 2, died Feb. 28 in Brandon, Florida
A girl, 3, died March 28 in Ville Platte, Louisiana
A boy, 1, died April 4 in Vestavia, Alabama
A boy, 23 months, died April 14 in Burleson, Texas
Heatstroke deaths are not rare, isolated tragedies. In an average year, an innocent child dies of heatstroke in a vehicle once every ten days. Safe Kids Metro KC wants to make sure that no child has to die this way. One way to do this is to share the message with everyone, and everywhere possible, because one of the biggest challenges is that nobody thinks this could ever happen to them. But it can happen to anyone.
According to safekids.org, almost 800 children have died in these preventable tragedies since they started keeping track in 1990. An average of 37 children die needlessly every year from vehicular heatstroke. In 2016 a total of 39 children died across the United States.
“A child’s body absorbs more heat than an adult’s. A temperature of 107 degrees is lethal to a little child,” explains DuJuan Hord, Safe Kids Metro KC Coordinator. “Parents and caregivers can help avoid this unthinkable tragedy by learning some new habits when they’re transporting little ones.”
REMEMBER TO ACT:
A: AVOID HEATSTROKE-RELATED INJURY AND DEATH by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: CREATE REMINDERS by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone, that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you are not following your normal routine.
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 to these situations. One call could save a life.
Take it a Step Further: Create Reminders and Communicate with Your Child’s Daycare:
- Make a habit of looking in the vehicle—front and back before locking the door.
- Place a window sticker as a visual reminder to help yourself and others remember your child.
- Create a calendar reminder on your electronic devices to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare.
- Ask your childcare center or babysitter to call or text you if your child doesn’t arrive on time.
- Place a toy or a diaper bag in the passenger seat of your vehicle as a reminder that there is a child in the car.
Please join the effort on Facebook and Twitter use hashtags #heatstrokekills and #lookbeforeyoulock. Safe Kids will post safety tips throughout the summer about ways to prevent child vehicular heatstroke. For more information visit www.safekids.org/heatstroke and www.kidsandcars.org/heatstroke-day.