Summer may be almost over however August often brings some of the hottest days of the year. Most children left in hot cars were done so by accident by loving parents. So how can this happen? A recent Texas Public Radio story delved into the subject. The personal interview with a father who had left his son in the car after dropping his wife off at work was the case in point of how our brains could forget something so important as a child in a hot vehicle. Our modern lives are busy, often filled with daily repetition and innumerable distractions. In this particular story, the father normally dropped his child off at daycare before dropping his wife off at work. One simple change in routine, taking his wife to work first was enough to convince his brain that the routine could continue on as normal. Thankfully it occurred to him that his son was in the car soon enough that although the boy suffered six strokes, he survived the incident.
Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH) is responsible for an average of 37 children’s deaths per year and the death of 43 children in 2017.  A car parked in the sun with an outside air temperature of 80* - 100* can reach 103* - 172*. In just 10 minutes a car's temperature can increase by 20*. Just 60* outside is hot enough for a child to die from PVH. Being an absolutely preventative situation, the experts have several tips you can follow to ensure the children in your lives are never left in a hot car.
Keeping the kids out of a parked car:
1/3 of car-related heat deaths in children are caused by children unknowingly getting into hot cars. Once you have parked a car and are sure the kids are out- lock it and put the keys where the kids can’t get them!
Avoiding leaving kids in a hot car:
Make a habit of leaving a needed item near your child when you put them in the car. Your smartphone, purse, laptop or tools can act as one more reason to check the back seat before getting out of your vehicle. :
Ask your child care provider to contact you if you haven’t dropped your child off by your normal drop off time. You can also create a notification in your phone to go off right after that normal drop off time to remind you to check.
Many new vehicles now come with rear seat reminder technology. Anytime a back door is opened and closed the reminder will afterward alert the driver to check the back seat.
SensorSafe Technology connects to your child’s car seat strap and will alert you when you stop your car that the child is still in the seat.
See something, do something:
Several states, including, Kansas now have laws that allow you to break into a car to rescue a child or pet as long as you call 911 first. No matter what State you are in always call for emergency help if you see a child alone in a hot vehicle. This video brings it all home and shows a bystander that reaches out to help an 8-month-old child that would've been left in a hot car for 24 minutes. https://www.10tv.com/article/two-deaths-and-video-close-call-bring-new-attention-kids-hot-cars
Lastly, please share this blog to help us spread awareness and save many children's lives.
Blog by: Allison Greene