Thursday 3rd December 2020

Temperatures are heating up and more and more people are traveling with their children and it’s important that parents and caregivers remember to check for children inside their vehicles before locking the car.
Far too many children have been inadvertently left in vehicles or have gotten into a vehicle on their own. Vehicular heatstroke tragedies change the lives of parents, families, and communities forever.
About 46% of the time when a child was forgotten, the caregiver meant to drop the child off at a daycare or preschool.
Thursdays and Fridays – the end of the workweek – have had the highest deaths.
Nearly 75% of children who are forgotten and die are under 2 years old.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has some tips to help prevent hot car deaths.
* Check for baby!
– Get in the habit of always looking inside your car before locking the doors. Remember: Park. Look. Lock. And always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?”
* Keep your doors locked
– Vehicular heatstroke deaths don’t just happen when a child is forgotten. The second leading cause – 25% – of such deaths are children getting into unattended vehicles. Get in the habit of always locking your car doors and trunk, year-round. The temperature inside a car can reach 110 degrees, even when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees.
* Never leave a child alone
– While all types of vehicular heatstroke deaths are preventable, the third leading cause of these deaths – knowingly leaving a child – is the most preventable. Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down or the air conditioning on. A child’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adult’s.
If you see a child alone in a vehicle, make sure the child is okay and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.
– If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents; if at a public place, have the facility page the car owner over an intercom system.
– If the child is not responsive and appears to be in distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child-even if that means breaking a window.
Many states have “Good Samaritan” laws that protect people from lawsuits for getting involved to help a person in an emergency.
From 1998-2019 there have been a total of 25 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths in the state of Missouri. During that same time period there have been a total of 855 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths in the U.S.
Remember: Kids and hot cars can be a deadly combination. Don’t take the chance. Always look in the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking away.