Commemorating National Heat Stroke Prevention Day

Today, July 31, is National Heat Stroke Prevention Day. Parents and caregivers of children are being urged to be mindful about that precious little package in the back seat of the family vehicle. Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-collision related vehicle fatalities for children 14 and younger, according to So far this year, nearly 20 children have lost their lives after being left in hot cars, according to the nonprofit. In the past 20 years, more than 670 children in the U.S. died in hot vehicles. Earlier this month launched a "We the People" petition drive on the White House petition website, at, aimed at encouraging the Obama Administration to authorize the Department of Transportation to provide funding for research and development of innovative technology to detect a child left alone in the rear seat of a vehicle. That technology could be installed in the child's safety seat or in the vehicle itself. hopes the public would commemorate National Heat Stroke Prevention Day by signing the petitions. In the meantime, here are some tips to prevent children from being left alone in cars:
  • Make it a habit to always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to ensure a child - or pet - has not been left behind.
  • Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat. Before placing the child in the safety seat, move the stuffed animal to the front passenger seat as a visual reminder that your child is in the back seat.
  • Put something you'll need -- such as a cellphone, handbag, employee ID, shoe, etc. -- on the floorboard in the back seat in front of your child's car seat to help ensures you open the back door of your vehicle to retrieve your belongings.
  • Ask your daycare provider or babysitter to call you within 10 minutes if your child does not arrive as expected.
  • Never leave children alone in or around cars.¬†Use drive-thru services when available.
  • Do not allow kids to play in and around vehicles. Keep automobiles locked at all times and keep car keys and/or remote openers out of children's reach.
  • When a child is missing, call 911 and check the inside of vehicles and car trunks immediately.
  • If passersby witness a child left alone in a vehicle, dial 911. Moments count.
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