Ever notice how your car can be nice and warm even on a cool day? But that cozy sun can quickly turn deadly for kids. Children’s small bodies heat up 3 - 5 times faster than an adult’s. Every year, children die from overheating in cars. A third of these deaths were children who were playing and got trapped in unattended cars. Be sure to lock your cars at all times – especially at home. And teach children to never play in parked vehicles.
Below are some facts and simple tips to keep your child safe
- Between 1998-2010, more than 494 children died from hyperthermia or heat stroke when unattended in a vehicle.
- Warm weather states are at greatest risk but all other states, with the exception of one, have experienced deaths.
- There is no safe way to leave a child unattended in a car- even for one minute.
Children’s bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s.
- It takes only 10 minutes for a car to heat up by 19 degrees and it continues to heat up quickly because of all the windows in a car.
- To view a reenactment of a car heating up incrementally, go to www.ggweather.com then to the first bullet under “weather links.”
- What can drivers do to offset this tragedy?
- Dial 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a car. EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble.
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even for one minute. Leaving a window slightly open has no effect on the temperature in the vehicle.
- Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or whatever is to be carried from the car on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This forces the adult to open the back door and observe the child when they reach for their belongings.
- Set your cell phone or Blackberry reminder to be sure you dropped your child off at day care.
- Set your computer “Outlook” program to ask, “Did you drop off at daycare today?”
- Have a plan that if your child is late for daycare that you will be called within a few minutes. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at day care.
- Teach children not to play in any vehicle.
- Lock all vehicle doors and trunk – especially at home. Cars are not playgrounds.
Check vehicles and trunks FIRST if a child goes missing.
More information can be obtained at the following links.
Safe Kids Worldwide
Golden Gate Weather
www.nhtsa.gov/Driving Safety/Child Safety/Keeping Kids Safe: Inside & Out
Kids and Cars