Child Heatstroke Prevention

NHTSA’s Child Heatstroke Prevention

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release regarding child safety and heatstroke prevention for the summer. Their “Look Before You Lock” campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of leaving unattended children in parked cars, for even short periods of time. Heatstroke is incredibly dangerous, and in a matter of minutes, can be deadly.

Heatstroke Injuries and Deaths in The U.S.

Since 1998, there have been 637 deaths across the U.S. due to adults leaving children unattended in vehicles. In 2014, 30 children died after being left in cars, and one life has been lost already this year. For children that survive a heatstroke from being left in a parked car, close calls include serious injuries like blindness, loss of hearing and permanent brain damage.

NHTSA’s Tips for Parents and Caregivers

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are down or the engine is running.
  • Make a habit to look in the vehicle, front and back, before walking away.
  • Ask childcare providers to call if your child doesn’t show up as expected.
  • Do things to help remind you that a child is in the vehicle, like placing a purse or briefcase in the backseat.
  • Teach children that vehicles are not play areas, and keep keys out of reach.
  • If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately.
  • A child in heat distress needs to be removed from the vehicle swiftly and cooled rapidly.

Preventable Heatstroke Deaths

Injury-causing and fatal heatstroke is totally preventable. Children and pets are especially susceptible to high temperatures and heatstroke. Never leave a child or a pet in an unattended vehicle, even if you’re just going to be gone for a minute or two. Heat injuries and deadly heatstroke’s can also occur when children are playing in and around unlocked cars without adult supervision.

When it’s in the low 80’s outside, the temperature inside of your vehicle can reach deadly levels in about 10 minutes, even with windows rolled down. Once a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes everybody a safe and happy summer.

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