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U.S. Department of Transportation Launches $3 Million Public Safety Campaign to Prevent Child Heatstroke Deaths in Hot Cars

Holds Heatstroke Safety Forum With Safety Advocates

| Washington, DC

Today on National Heatstroke Awareness Day, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the launch of a $3 million public safety campaign to combat child vehicular heatstroke deaths across the country. The announcement is part of the Department’s ongoing work to engage with safety advocates and provide a unified message to educate the public about the dangers hot vehicles pose to children.

“As we enter the hot summer months, the Department is launching a $3 million information campaign to remind drivers to never leave children unattended in cars and to lock their cars to prevent neighborhood children from entering the heated car,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Chao.

Car with text park, look, lock
Starting today, public service announcements will run all summer reminding parents and caregivers to always Park. Look. Lock. 

Radio ads will air across the country, and the digital campaign will target the 18 States with the highest number of child heatstroke fatalities: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

The Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also marked National Heatstroke Awareness Day with “Hot Car Deaths, a Path to Prevention,” featuring a stakeholder roundtable and news conference.

Joining Secretary Chao at the news conference were U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi; John Bozzella, the president and chief executive officer of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation; Torine Creppy, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide; and NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens.

“The danger right now is twofold.  Parents may be tempted to leave their children in the vehicle while they run errands, thinking the car is safer than a store.  It’s more important than ever to remember that a hot car is no place for a child,” Deputy Administrator Owens said.

Important Heatstroke Prevention Tips:

Everyone can play a part in preventing these tragedies: 

  • Keep vehicles locked at all times when parked to prevent a child climbing in and becoming trapped.
  • Teach children that vehicles are not a place to play. 
  • Never leave a child in a vehicle when running errands, not even for a minute. 
  • Rolling down a window does little to keep a vehicle cool, and heatstroke deaths have occurred even in vehicles parked in shaded areas.
  • Bystanders can also play an important role in saving a life – if you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 and get help immediately.

NHTSA 202-366-9550

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