It is terrible to think about, but tragedies can happen to anyone. Every ten days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle, and more than 50 percent of the children who died from heatstroke were forgotten by a caring adult who became distracted.
“Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children,” said Jill Lucas-Drakeford, a Carilion Clinic community health educator and coordinator of Safe Kids Southwest Virginia. “Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.”
However, these tragedies are completely preventable.
Together with Safe Kids Worldwide, Carilion Clinic is working to cut down the number of deaths and near-misses by encouraging everyone to ACT.
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death:
- Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes.
- Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you’re not using it.
- Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach. Teach your child to never play inside cars or trunks.
C: Create reminders:
- Put something in the back of your car next to your child, such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
- Develop a plan with your daycare provider. For example, if your child is late, ask your provider to call you within a few minutes.
- Create a calendar reminder for your electronic devices that alerts you to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare.
T: Take action:
- If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
- Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations.
- One call could save a life.
Make your peace-of-mind plan for prevention today and share these tips with your friends and family.