As discussed in the previous post, preventable child heatstroke tragedies occur far too frequently. The ongoing heat wave in Los Angeles means that more children may be in danger for heatstroke death if they are left in vehicles in these extreme temperatures.
The NHTSA says that heatstroke deaths can happen to anyone from any walk of life and can strike children of even the most attentive and loving parents. To prevent these tragedies, the NHTSA recommends that parents and caregivers make a habit of asking themselves when they leave a vehicle, "Where's baby?" and always "look before you lock."
The NHTSA also advises to:
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if the car is on and the air conditioning is on and the windows are partially open.
- Always look in the car front and back before locking the doors and walking away to make sure a child isn't still in the car or snuck back in the car.
- Teach children that the car is not a play area.
- Store car keys out of children's reach.
- Write a note that a child is in a vehicle or place a cell phone or purse in the back seat to help remember that a child is also in the back seat.
If you come across a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911. Remove the child from the vehicle and cool them rapidly with water if they are in distress.
Source: NHTSA, "New Research Says Current Warning Systems Designed to Detect Children Left in Vehicles Are Not Reliable," Karen Aldana, July 30,2012