Keeping kids safe in the heat: Preventing vehicular heat stroke
The heat wave currently engulfing Los Angeles provokes fire warnings and health concerns. Of those health concerns, heat stroke takes center stage as an ailment to keep an eye out for. But it’s not just adults that suffer from it – children die every year in the United States when left inside cars in the presence of scorching temperatures.
According to Kids and Cars, an organization that works to prevent the injuries and deaths of children by vehicles, 10 children in the United States have died in 2012 as of July 10 as a result of vehicular heat stroke. In 2011, 33 were killed due to the same cause of death and in 2010, 49.
It is imperative that adults never leave children (or pets) in hot cars. The Los Angeles Police Department has provided several tips for preventing vehicular heat stroke:
- Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are partly open or the engine and air conditioning are running.
- Look inside the vehicle, front and back, before walking away.
- Place a purse, briefcase or other necessary item in the back seat so you’ll see a child or pet left behind.
- Don’t let kids play in an unattended vehicle.
- Lock the car doors and trunk and keep the keys out of a child’s reach.
- Ask your day-care provider to call if your child doesn’t show up on time.
- If a child is missing, check the car and trunk.
- Call 911 if you see a child or pet left inside a vehicle.
For more information on vehicular heat stroke deaths among children, visit KidsAndCars.org.
For general information regarding safety when temperatures are high, visit our website at readyla.org.
Photo Credit: Mike Baird/ Flickr Creative Commons