Join National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Safe Kids Worldwide, and safety advocates on social media to raise awareness about the dangers to children in hot cars. Child heatstroke messaging, statistics and prevention tips will be posted on Facebook and Twitter – using the hashtag #heatstroke – every hour on the hour from Eastern, today.
At least 24 children have died due to heatstroke already in 2013 – medically termed “hyperthermia.” With record-setting heat blanketing significant portions of the country for much of this summer, we are urging parents and caregivers to think, “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock,” the primary message in NHTSA’s heatstroke public education campaign.
When the outside temperature is in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Children’s bodies overheat easily, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.
Help spread the word and prevent anymore of these tragic deaths. Urge parents to take precautions, such as:
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on;
- Make a habit of looking in the vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away;
- Ask the childcare provider to call if the child does not show up for care as expected;
- Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver’s view to indicate a child is in the car seat; and,
- Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area and store keys out of a child’s reach.
In addition, NHTSA and Safe Kids urge community members who see a child alone in a hot vehicle to immediately call 911 or the local emergency number. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.