NHTSA and NSC: Learn How to Prevent Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke Deaths
Sharing tips to protect children, prevent tragedies on National Heatstroke Prevention DayJuly 31, 2019
July 30, 2018 | Washington, DC
July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling on the public to help prevent children from dying in hot cars this summer. To promote social awareness and amplify the conversation about this safety issue, the agency will host a Tweet-up on July 31. Every 15 minutes, starting at 7 a.m. ET, the agency will post stats, prevention tips, and heatstroke awareness messages using the hashtags #heatstrokekills and #checkforbaby on all its social media channels.
The agency is asking everyone — the public, our coworkers at DOT and NHTSA, and all our friends and safety partners — to participate in the Heatstroke Awareness Challenge. To be a part of this lifesaving campaign,
The simple act of posting your Heatstroke Awareness Challenge video could reach the family member, friend or neighbor who needs to hear this message — and even save a young life. The agency has fact sheets, videos, graphics, and other material that you can download and share to make sure your followers get the message: Heatstroke kills, but we can all work to prevent it.
Heatstroke isn’t about irresponsible people intentionally leaving children in cars; most cases occur when a child is mistakenly left or gets into a vehicle unattended and becomes trapped. Since 1998, 772 U.S. children have died of heatstroke in hot cars — 29 this year to date. On average, one child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle nearly every 10 days in the United States. A total of 43 children died from heatstroke in 2017.
Heatstroke in children can happen quickly, as their bodies are smaller and weigh less, and are more prone to the effects of extreme temperatures. It doesn’t need to be a hot day. When the temperature outside is as low as 60 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 110 degrees. If a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child will die.
NHTSA encourages parents to check the back seat before leaving the car and to consider keeping a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Parents should also be mindful to keep keys out of reach of children and to keep car doors locked after exiting the car. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911. Chances are the child was left by accident. If the child appears in distress or is non-responsive, remove the child from the vehicle and spray the child with cool water.
For more information and tips to prevent heatstroke, visit “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock.”
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