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For Safety's Sake, Don't Leave Kids in Cars

Warmer weather puts them at risk of heat stroke, other dangers, expert says
(*this news item will not be available after 09/19/2014)

By Robert Preidt
Saturday, June 21, 2014

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SATURDAY, June 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As summer starts, experts are reminding parents not to leave children alone in a car in warm weather, because that puts them at risk for heat stroke and death.

In 2013, 43 children in the United States died from heat stroke after being left in vehicles, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Children overheat three to five times faster than adults, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Even when it's 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside, a vehicle can reach a life-threatening temperature within minutes.

"Nobody ever thinks something like this could happen to them, until it does," Deborah Hersman, NSC president and CEO, said in a council news release. "Unfortunately, every summer, dozens of children die as a result of high temperatures inside of cars. These unintended mistakes can devastate families, so make sure you always look before you lock your vehicle."

The NSC offered the following safety tips:

  • Never leave a child alone in a car.
  • When you have children in the car, use reminders to ensure that you'll check for them when you get out of the car. For example, leave something you need in the back, such as your purse, briefcase or phone.
  • Always lock your car doors after you get out of the vehicle. This will prevent children from getting into the car on their own and possibly getting trapped inside.
  • If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately.

SOURCE: National Safety Council, news release, June 16, 2014

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Page last updated on 23 June 2014