It’s a horrifying thought to imagine a child choking, locked helplessly,and dying due to the scorching heat, in the confines of a car! But statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that many children succumb to death due to the heat in the car!!
Campaign for child safety
To increase public awareness regarding the death of children in hot cars a campaign was launched by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the July 31, to coincide with National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Can you imagine a parent locking their sleeping child inside the car and leaving for a small errand?
Deaths in cars
This year’s summer heat has managed to squeeze the life breath out of almost 24 kids who were locked inside their parents’ cars. Data collected from 1998-2010 show that accidental car death toll has been recorded as almost 500 children.
Evidence pointed out that half of the deaths were due a heat stroke caused by carelessness of a distracted caregiver. Shockingly, it seems that the quiet children were kind of forgotten due to a careless attitude.
Let’s tell you a real incident that resulted in this. One day 17 month old Payton Lyn was taken to the doctor for an ear check up and then left inside the car as the father scrambled off to work.
Reggie Mckinnon, Payton’s father returned to his SUV to see baby Payton dead inside. The crestfallen dad now states “I made a promise to my sweet Payton that I would do everything I could to prevent this horror from ever happening to another innocent child.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Safekids.org have started Safe Kids Worldwide to bring awareness for prevention of tragedies like this. They plan to utilize the social media to create this attentiveness.
Facebook and Twitter will be using hashtag #heatstroke on an hourly basis from 10.a.m-5.p.m., for child heat stroke messaging, prevention tips and statistics. The NHTSA are using the message “Where’s Baby? Look before You Lock,” to reduce child death in car due to hypothermia. The young babies bodies overheat quickly and they succumb to heat related disorders.
You will be surprised to know that when the temperature outside the car is in low 80s, the temperature inside a locked car can clamber up to lethal levels within a span of 10 minutes. This happens even if the windows of the car are rolled down about 2 inches.
It’s a must to take precautions to prevent heat related car deaths:
Don’t leave the child in the car unattended even if the air conditioning is on.
Check the car in the front and the back before you lock and move away from the vehicle.
Request the child care provider to ask you if the child doesn’t reach the care premises on time.
Place a briefcase or purse on the back seat while driving, this will remind you to peek in the back before leaving the car.
Place the car keys away from the reach of children and tell them not to play in the vehicle at any cost. Remember, it’s your responsibility to take care of these things. Public wake up and yell if you see an unattended child in the vehicle.