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Heatstroke Prevention

Heatstroke: Could it Happen to Your Child?

Did You Know?

  • A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body.
  • A car can heat up by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
  • Cracking a window of a car does not help to keep the car cool.
  • Heatstroke is the #1 non-crash, vehicle related death for children ages 14 and under.
  • Heatstroke deaths have been recorded in 11 months of the year in nearly all 50 states.
  • More than half of heatstroke deaths occurred when a distracted caregiver forgot a quiet child was in the vehicle.
  • Creating reminders and habits is an effective way to ensure that a child is not forgotten in the vehicle.

To help prevent tragic and unnecessary deaths due to heatstroke, Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation teamed up to launch Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car, an education and awareness campaign geared toward parents and caregivers.

Here are some important safety tips:

  • Never leave your child alone in a car – not even for a minute
  • Put your cell phone or briefcase in the back seat.  That will help remind you to check the back seat before you leave the vehicle.
  • Always lock your door to prevent children from getting into your vehicle unattended.
  • Never allow children to use your car to play in.

The Campaign Encourages Everyone to ACT

• A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunks – even in your driveway. And keep your keys and key fobs out of the reach of kids.

• C: Create reminders. Place something you’ll need at your next stop – like a briefcase or cell phone – next to the child safety seat. It may seem simple, but can be a helpful reminder on a chaotic day.

 T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, take action. Call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations.
In addition to safety messages and events, Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car offers the Badge of Courage award, a recognition program for heroes who take action to prevent unattended child fatalities from heatstroke.

Safe Kids also supports NHTSA’s heatstroke education campaign, “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock,” and welcomes the increased national coordination on the issue. In 2012, Safe Kids partnered with NHTSA Administrator David Strickland to host news conferences around the country to raise awareness about heatstroke in children and urge parents and caregivers to ACT to help prevent future tragedies.