July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day

Wednesday, July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day and the California Office of Traffic Safety is reminding all parents and caregivers to not leave children unattended in vehicles. Even on cooler days, the temperature inside the family car can reach unhealthy temperatures. heatstroke can occur when the temperature outside is just 57 degrees, according to http://www.safercar.gov/parents/heatstroke.htm. "Too many children die as a result of being left unattended in vehicles for any amount of time,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy. “These tragedies are 100 percent preventable. National Heatstroke Prevention Day is a good reminder for parents and caregivers to ensure that no child is ever left unsupervised.” KidsAndCars.org reports that 23 children have already died this year after being left unattended inside hot cars. "Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatalities for children 14 and younger, but can be prevented," reported the Missouri-based organization that is dedicated to the safety of children in and around cars. It and the OTS are are among the many agencies nationwide to join forces with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's call to spread the word about National Heatstroke Prevention Day. KidsAndCars.org volunteers plan to visit birthing centers nationwide to distribute "Look Before You Lock™" safety education cards for new and expectant parents. It and the other participating agencies will use social media to post safety messages throughout the day Wednesday. Below are some tips from the Office of Traffic Safety and KidsAndCars.org regarding heatstroke prevention in children:
  • Never leave your child unattended in a hot vehicle, not even for a minute;
  • Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to check to make sure no child - or pet - has been left behind;
  • For parents of young children, place a needed item for your next stop, such as your cell phone or purse, on the floor in front of your child’s safety seat. This will help to remind you that your child is in the car when you retrieve the needed items;
  • Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat. Right before the child is placed in the seat, move the stuffed animal to the front passenger seat as a visual reminder that your child is in the back seat;
  • Set a reminder or alarm on your cell phone that reminds you to drop off your child at school or day care, or have a loved one call to ensure that the drop-off occurred;
  • Ask day care providers to call if your child is ever late being dropped off;
  • Develop a routine for exiting the car; check the backseat and lock all doors and the trunk every time;
  • Always lock your car doors and do not give children access to keys or keyless entry devices;
  • Teach your children that cars are never to be used as a place to play;
  • If your child is missing, be sure to check all vehicles and trunks;
  • If you see an unattended child in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately.
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