Since March of this year, there have been 17 disturbing incidents of toddlers dying from being trapped in a sweltering car. Last year, 49 children in the U.S., from ages two months to six years, died from heat stroke while unattended in vehicles-the worst year on record. Sadly, there have been more than 500 of these heartbreaking losses due to hyperthermia. The American Fire Service can be an important ally in helping people understand what they can do to prevent these tragedies.
Through the Safe Kids USA Network, the "Never Leave Your Child Alone In A Car Program' has mobilized a wide range of partners to share with parents and other caregivers prevention messages to address the dangers of hyperthermia to children in vehicles.
Having reviewed the 500 plus deaths to children from heat stroke in vehicles since 1998, Safe Kids and our partners have identified three primary reasons why children are unattended in cars.
• In over half the cases, they were forgotten by a very distracted driver when they arrived at their destination.
• In about 30% of cases, they climbed into an unlocked car or truck to play, couldn't get out on their own and were overcome by heat.
• In about 20% of cases, they were intentionally left alone by a driver who was running an errand.
Here's what parents and caregivers need to know and why:
• Lock cars and trucks...
• Create reminders...
• Dial 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a car...