In 2016, 21 kids have died from being left in hot cars
A parents worst nightmare is a child passing away and even worse is if the child dies because of something you did OR didn't do! Children dying of heatstroke in hot cars is something that occurs every year and is 100% preventable.
You may be asking, how does this happen, how can a parent forget their child in the car, or why would a parent leave their child in the car. Sometimes the parent may have forgotten that the child is in the vehicle with them, the child may have fallen asleep and there was no sound to remind the parent that they are in the car, or no visual clues like seeing the baby's head peek over the rear facing car seat. Then there are those times when the child is asleep and the parent thinks - Oh I'll just let them nap and run into the store real fast.
What isn't realized is how quickly the heat rises in cars and how children's body's do not have the mechanisms to help them cool off quickly.
DCFS would like to provide some helpful tips to prevent a tragedy like this from happening to you.
7 Ways to Not Forget Your Child
"We all spend a great deal of time and money to childproof our home," says Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org. "We need to childproof our car with the same care." She advises taking multiple steps to make sure you always remember your child in the car:
1. Be extra alert if your routine changes. That's when the risk of unintentionally leaving your child in your car increases.
2. Put something of your child's, like a toy, on the front seat.
3. Leave an item you'll need at your next destination in the backseat -- like your cell phone, purse, or briefcase.
4. Place your child's car sear in the middle of the backseat rather than behind the driver. It's easier to see the kid.
5. It's crucial to set up a system with your child-care provider. If you don't plan to drop off your child that day, call her. If the child doesn't arrive as expected, have the caregiver call you.
6. Discuss the topic of hot-car deaths with every person who drives your child anywhere. This includes partners, grandparents, and babysitters.
7. Always "Look Before You Lock." Get in the habit of checking the backseat every time you get out of the car.
Hotter Than You Realize
This is how quickly the temperature inside a vehicle rises on a 70°F day, based on research by Jan Null, department of earth and climate sciences, San Francisco State University. Null also found that keeping the windows open slightly had little effect and that car interiors with darker colors heat up faster.
After 10 minutes = 89°F
After 20 minutes = 99°F
After 30 minutes = 104°F
After 60 minutes = 113°F
After 2 hours = 120°F
If you see any child in a car seat alone in a car, call 911. Not only is it incredibly dangerous; it's illegal. Leaving a child younger than seven years old alone in your car is a misdemeanor in the state of Nevada.
For more information please visit www.kidsandcars.org