RALEIGH — With summer temperatures arriving, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey and Safe Kids North Carolina are reminding people of the dangers of leaving children unattended in hot cars, even for just a few minutes.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, across the United States, more than 740 children have died since 1998 because they were trapped in a hot car. That’s nearly 40 deaths per year that could have been prevented — if only some precautionary steps had been taken.
“It’s never a good idea to leave children unattended in cars, especially as the weather warms up,” said Causey. “One child’s death is one too many, so I’m asking all parents and caregivers to take a few simple steps to prevent an avoidable tragedy.”
Children are at a greater risk for heatstroke than adults because their body heats up three to five times faster. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, when the body’s temperature reaches 104 degrees, a child’s internal organs start to shut down. When it reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.
On an 80-degree day, the inside of a closed car can quickly exceed 100 degrees. Unfortunately, cracking a window does not help keep the inside of a car cool.
Safe Kids national program “Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car” is raising awareness about the dangers of heatstroke.
Safe Kids NC wants everyone to ACT:
• A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Remember to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids can’t get in on their own.
• C: Create reminders so you don’t mistakenly leave your child in back by putting something with them that you’ll need at your final destination such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone.
• 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.
Safe Kids North Carolina reaches out to parents, caregivers and children in 71 counties served by 46 coalitions across the state. For more safety tips and information about Safe Kids North Carolina, visit www.ncsafekids.org.