Preventing Heatstroke this Summer

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release urging parents, caregivers and the general public to ask: “Where’s Baby? Look Before you Lock.” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is also getting onboard with advocates. Last week, he joined the NHTSA’s Acting Administrator Friedan at an awareness event along with a variety of other community members and government officials. A live demonstration was given on how emergency personnel responds to 911 calls about children being left in hot vehicles.

Heatstroke Kills Children

A child will die once his or her body reaches 107 degrees. According to the NHTSA, 44 deaths occurred in 2013 as a result of heatstroke, and 17 children have died of heatstroke so far this year. Heatstroke can kill an unattended child in a hot vehicle in minutes. If outside temperatures are in the low 80’s, it only takes about 10 minutes for vehicle temperatures to reach deadly levels.

Cracking a window isn’t good enough either. Heatstroke can still pose a deadly risk when temperatures are as low as 60 degrees outside. Cars can still reach deadly temperatures in a matter of minutes. It’s important to note that children, as well as pets, are much more susceptible to heatstroke than adults. The Department of Transportation and the NHTSA offers parents and caregivers a variety of tips for keeping children safe during the summer heat.

Taking Precautions

• Never leave a child in an unattended vehicle. It doesn’t matter if the air conditioner is running or the windows are cracked.
• Always look in the front and back seats of your vehicle before leaving it unattended.
• Ask childcare providers to call if the child doesn’t arrive when expected.
• Do things that serve as a reminder to check the back seat for children. Placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat will force you to check. Get in the habit.
• Store keys out of reach of children.
• Teach children that automobiles are not played areas.

Keeping Children Safe in the Summer Heat

Community members are urged to call 911 for immediate assistance if they see a child alone in a hot vehicle. Children in distress need to be removed from hot vehicles as soon as possible and rapidly cooled. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes everybody a safe and happy summer.

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