With summer here the number of heatstroke deaths is quickly adding up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 1998 to 2014, 636 deaths from heatstroke have happened.
53% of the cases happened because a child was forgotten inside the car, 29% because the child was playing around an unattended vehicle, 17% because the child was left inside the car intentionally, and 1% due to unknown reasons.
If you’re rolling your eyes after reading the statistics above, you should know that similar cases have happened even to great parents too.
What is very hard to swallow, is the fact that there are “parents” out there who leave a child intentionally inside a hot car, knowing very well the risks and going ahead taking their child’s life. Unfortunately, there are many horrific stories you can read about here. In the meantime, here are some tips to prevent deaths due to hot weather.
Hot cars safety! Tips to remember.
LEARN – educate yourself
The majority of people who are at risk of a heatstroke, or who actually die, are children age up to 14 years old who are being left alone inside a car in the summer.
Most cases happen because the parents are not aware how easy it is for a child to get a heatstroke by being left alone in a car than can become dangerously hot inside.
First of all, you have to understand that a child’s body does not work the same way as an adult’s body and can warm up from 3 to 5 times faster. Even if you think that going to a grocery store for a few minutes won’t do any harm you are wrong. During those few minutes that you are away the car can reach 110`F even when it is 60’F outside.
Furthermore, heat strokes happen throughout the year, which means you have to understand and remember that a child left alone inside a car it will always be ‘too hot’!
REMIND YOURSELF that there is a baby on board
If you are a new parent it is normal sometimes to simply forget that there is a baby on board. So, now there is a baby with you everywhere you go and you have to do your best to remind yourself that fact. It is a life and death matter – you cannot leave your child even for a few minutes inside the car alone.
Think about some of the things you know you cannot leave your car without. That would be keys, phone, wallet or maybe work shoes. Just leave them on the back seat whenever you have your child with you and you’ll never make the dreadful mistake of forgetting your child inside the car.
Some other things you can do are to set a reminder on your smart phone, to ask your childcare to give you a call whenever your child is not where he or she should be on time, to place a huge stuffed animal on the front seat or even ask your husband/wife or other relatives to call you and remind you – there is nothing bad in that!
TAKE ACTION whenever you see a child left alone inside a hot car!
Under the Good Samaritan laws which offers “legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated,” you can take action whenever you see a child playing around an unattended car, or a child left alone inside one. Whether you need to break a window, call 911 if you can clearly see the child is not responsive, or do both at the same time, just make sure the child is not left any longer inside the car.”
Pets and the elderly are as much at risk, when left alone inside a car, as a child up to 14 years old is, so in case you notice anyone left alone inside a car that is at high risks of dying from a heatstroke go ahead and do anything you can to save their live. If you have any other tips or advice please share them with us by leaving a comment below. Thanks!