LARGO, Md. – In support of National Heatstroke Prevention Day, July 31, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Safe Kids Worldwide, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, College Park Police Department, and the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) are asking the public to act to help save lives. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related vehicle fatalities for kids 14 and younger in the United States. Since the beginning of this year, 29 children nationwide died of heatstroke after being left in a car.
To bring awareness, these agencies will hold a demonstration of how hot it can get inside a vehicle. The demonstration will take place Tuesday, July 31 from 10:00 – 12:30 pm at the College Park Police Headquarters, 7569 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD 20742. A display that includes a thermometer inside a vehicle and shows the difference between the temperature inside varies from the outside temperature. This will show that temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes, which is why it’s vitally important to never leave a child alone in a parked car; keep the keys out of a child’s reach and look in both the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking away.
In addition to this display, to help raise awareness, on July 31st, NHTSA is engaging in an all-day social media conversation designed to inform the public about the dangers that heatstroke can pose to kids left in cars. Every 30 minutes, starting at 7 a.m. ET, the agency will be using the hashtags #heatstrokekills and #checkforbaby on all of its social media posts.
Together, we can cut down the number of deaths and near misses by remembering to ACT.
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, briefcase, or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.
T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 9-1-1. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
For more information on preventing child heatstroke deaths, please visit www.safekids.org/heatstroke