Keeping Kids Safe in the Car

The tragic topic of hot car deaths has gripped the nation this summer. Each year, dozens of children lose their lives after caretakers forget them in overheated vehicles. In 2014 alone, 17 kids have died due to heat stroke in hot cars. As authorities investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Cooper Harris, the Georgia toddler who lost his life last month in a hot car, others are taking a stand for hot car safety education. A man in North Carolina issued the Hot Car Challenge late last month to “raise awareness for parents to stop leaving their kids in the car unattended.” Parents, family members, and caretakers are urged to take every precaution to guarantee hot car safety for small children.

It Could Happen to You

sleeping baby in carseatMany people believe that children forgotten in hot cars are the result of negligence or cruelty, but studies show that 11% of parents have forgotten a child in the car. Leaving a child in a hot car is often a result of stress, change in routine, or ignorance. 14% of parents have intentionally left a child in the car, and 6% of those admitted they believed it was safe to leave their child in the vehicle for over 15 minutes if they had cracked a window. It takes only takes 10-20 minutes for a car to heat to fatal temperatures.

Hot Car Safety

Recent petitions urge car manufacturers to implement technology to decrease the risk of hot car deaths, but the ultimate responsibility falls to the caretaker. Remember:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, no matter how briefly.
  • Invest in a smartphone app, proximity sensors, or a sensor equipped carseat to warn you if you forget your child in the car.
  • Don’t rely solely on technology to prevent child heat stroke: no technology is 100% effective.
  • Use physical reminders (like a stuffed animal buckled into the passenger seat) to remind you that your child is in the vehicle.
  • If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately.

For more car safety tips, ask the experts at Towne Lake’s Carwash and Detail when you stop by for a quick wash.

photo from flickr

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