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Prevent Hot Car Deaths

Prevent Hot Car Deaths

Heatstroke kills

Nearly 900 children died of heatstroke since 1998, because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. It’s important for everyone to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke and that all hot car deaths are preventable. We—as parents, caregivers, and bystanders—play a role in helping to make sure another death doesn’t happen.

In just 10 minutes, a car can heat up by 20 degrees and become deadly.

Know the facts

A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child’s temperature can rise quickly and they could die within minutes.

Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.

A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.

In 2020, 25 children died of vehicular heatstroke.

In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths—53 children died each year—the most in at least 20 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org.

Everyone can help prevent hot car deaths

Parents and Caregivers

  • – Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
  • – Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle, front and back, before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to “Park, Look, Lock” or always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?”
  • – Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
  • – Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
  • – Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.

Everyone—including bystanders

  • Secure your Car
  • Always lock your car doors and trunk, year-round, so children can’t get into unattended vehicles.

Act fast. Save a life.

If you see a child alone in a locked car, get them out immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled. For more info visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/heatstroke.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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