July Deadliest Month for Children In Hot Cars |
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Fort Smith Emergency Medical Services reminds parents and caregivers never to leave a child unattended in a vehicle, for any length of time. As summer time temperatures quickly soar, the interior of a vehicle can become deadly to small children within minutes. July is historically the deadliest month for children left unattended in hot cars, but hyperthermia can occur even on days with mild 70 degree temperatures. Even a few minutes of heat exposure in a closed vehicle can kill a child.
Some of these deaths occur when a parent or caregiver accidentally forgets a child in a car; some occur when a child is intentionally left in a vehicle. In other cases, a child was playing in an unattended vehicle when overtaken by heat or became trapped and was unable to escape.
These deaths can be prevented. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle or let a child play in a vehicle. If you see a child alone in a car, call 9-1-1 immediately. When children are in distress due to heat, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
Safety tips to prevent hyperthermia:
• Keep an object in the car seat, such as a stuffed toy. Once the child is buckled in, place the object where the driver will notice it when he or she leaves the vehicle.
• Place your purse, briefcase or something else you’re sure to need in the back seat so you’ll be sure to see a child left in the vehicle.
• Ask your childcare center to call you if your child doesn’t arrive on time for childcare.
• Make a habit of looking in the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away.
• Always lock vehicle doors and trunks and keep keys out of children’s reach.• If a child is missing, check the pool first, then check your vehicle (including the trunk).
• Call 9-1-1 immediately any time you see a child left unattended in a vehicle.