When it’s hot outside the temperature in a car interior can reach dangerous and sometimes fatal levels in a matter of minutes. Young children – especially infants – are more sensitive to variations in temperature than adults and are the most vulnerable to quick temperature changes.
From 1996 through 2000 more than 120 children died from heat stroke after being trapped in a vehicle. These kids were either left behind by parents or caregivers or were playing in cars and then unable to get out.
General Motors and SAFEKIDS have teamed up to launch the “Never Leave Your Child Alone” campaign to inform parents and caregivers about the dangers of leaving children alone in a car. They want to teach parents that because a child’s core body temperature increases three to five times faster than an adult’s, even a quick errand could be fatal.
To make sure your child is safe in your vehicle this summer:
Teach children not to play around cars.
Never leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle, even with the window slightly open. On a sunny day, the temperatures inside a vehicle can reach potentially deadly levels in minutes.
Lock car doors and trunks – even at home – and keep keys out of children’s reach.
Watch kids closely around cars, particularly when loading and unloading.
Make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. If you’re afraid you might forget a sleeping infant in the car, leave the diaper bag by your purse or briefcase on the front seat.
If the car has been parked in the heat, make sure the car seat and seat buckles aren’t too hot before sitting and securing your child in a seat.
For more information, check out http://www.gmability.com or http://www.safekids.org, or call 1-866-700-0001 and press 8.