Leave Your Children Where They Are If You Think You Might Leave Them in the Car

With summer just around the corner, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), reminds parents the dangers of leaving a child alone in a car, especially on hot summer days.

Research shows the risk of a serious and/potential deadly injury is increased for children left in vehicles during hot summer days. In fact, hyperthermia (heat-stroke) is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle deaths for children under the age of fourteen. There is an estimated 27 reported deaths every year.

The following are safety tips to prevent hyperthermia:

  • NEVER leave infants/children alone in a vehicle-even if the windows are partially open or the AC is running.
  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle-front and back-before locking the door and walking away.
  • Write yourself a note and place it where you’ll see it when you leave your car.
  • Place your purse, briefcase, etc. in the back seat so you’ll be sure to recognize that there is, in fact, a child in the vehicle.
  • Call 911/your local emergency number IMMEDIATELY if you see a child alone in a vehicle. When children are in distress, especially due to heat, remove them from the vehicle AS QUICKLY as possible! Warning signs of hyperthermia include: red, hot, damp or dry skin, no sweating, strong rapid pulse of a slow weak pulse, nausea or acting unusual. If any of these signs are present, COOL THE CHILD QUICKLY!!!

For additional safety tips and information on how to keep children safe in and around vehicles, visit www.nhtsa.gov/keepingkidssafe.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “How could a parent leave their child in the vehicle?!”; sadly, some parents DO forget they have their child(ren) in the car, especially if they have a “hectic schedule”. Still, leaving a child in an unattended vehicle is inexcusable. If there is any inclination that a child could be forgotten in the vehicle, leave the child at home with a responsible caretaker while running errands, going to appointments, etc.

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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