Sunday, 14 August 2022

Hot car deaths on track for deadliest year in U.S. history

Already this year there have been 28 confirmed child vehicular heatstroke deaths in the United States, which represents more hot car deaths than have occurred by July 22 during any year in U.S. history, according to the organization KidsAndCars.org.

Every year on average, 37 children die in hot cars in our country. July is the deadliest month of the year for these tragedies. Last year 43 young children died.

These tragedies are predictable and preventable. KidsAndCars.org is urging parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant during any changes in the daily routine. This is when most tragedies occur.

KidsAndCars.org president and founder Janette Fennell said, “We always see an increase in child injuries and deaths this time of year. It is devastating to know that there are families all across America right now holding their precious babies, unaware that they will lose them in a hot car this summer. But, these children don’t have to die. Parents and caregivers have the power to make sure that this doesn’t happen to them.”

Parents should implement the “Look Before You Lock” safety checklist that provides simple tips to protect their child.

Look before you lock safety checklist

Make sure your child is never left behind in the backseat of a car:

– Make it a routine to open the back door of your car every time you park to check that no one has been left behind.
– Put something you need in the back seat to remind you to open the back door every time you park – cell phone, employee badge, handbag, left shoe, work computer, etc. (The idea is if you leave the vehicle without this item, you would have to go back to get it.)
– Ask your babysitter or child care provider to call you if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
– Keep a stuffed animal in baby’s car seat. Place it on the front passenger seat as a reminder when baby is in the back seat.

Make sure children cannot get into a parked car:

– Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in the garage or driveway and even if you do not have children.
– Keys and remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
– If a child is missing, immediately check the passenger compartment and trunk of all vehicles in the area very carefully.

Education and awareness are important, but they are not enough. Because parents don't believe this could happen to them, technology plays a critical role in preventing these tragedies. Technology exists that can detect the presence of child or other living beings inside a vehicle and prevent hot car deaths.

To learn more about how technology can help prevent hot car deaths, please visit https://www.kidsandcars.org/hot-cars-act-of-2017/.

For more information on child hot car deaths, please contact KidsAndCars.org at 913-732-2792.

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