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National Heatstroke Prevention Day is July 31st: Do Your Part to Protect Children From Hot Car Deaths

National Heatstroke Prevention Day is July 31st: Do Your Part to Protect Children From Hot Car Deaths

 Ahhh, the lazy days of summer, time to relax, have fun, and throw caution to the wind. While enjoying this carefree time, be careful not to let your guard down too much, especially when it comes to your children. As the news reports remind us almost daily, far too many children are being left in hot cars by caregivers, and the results can be deadly.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in only ten minutes, a vehicle can heat up by 20 degrees. Closed cars can quickly reach 110 degrees inside, even when the temperature outside is only 60 degrees. Leaving a window cracked does little to cool an automobile in hot weather. Heatstroke occurs when the internal body temperature exceeds 104 degrees, and a child can die when his or her body temperature reaches 107 degrees.

Prevent Heatstroke By Never Leaving a Child Alone in a Hot Car

Caregivers operating outside of their normal routines or distracted by cell phones or other electronic devices can easily become culprits in hot car death incidents. Busy parents often spend their days juggling a million tasks and operating on autopilot, making it easy to become forgetful when a change in routine occurs, such as dropping off a child at daycare when the person who normally handles drop off is not available.

The NHTSA suggests a number of steps caregivers can take to avoid inadvertently leaving a child in a hot automobile, including:

  1. Placing a briefcase or purse next to the car seat so that you check the back seat before leaving the car.
  2. Calling the spouse responsible for daycare drop off each morning to make sure the children were dropped off.
  3. Having the daycare center call you if your child does not show up.
  4. Writing a reminder to yourself and placing it on the dashboard of the car, or setting a reminder on your cell phone or calendar.
  5. Always checking the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking way.

This update has been prepared by Council & Associates for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.