Throughout the country, temperatures are climbing into the upper 90’s with heat indices well above 100. This is a perfect time to remind everyone about the dangers of heat stroke in cars. We all forget things, right? But what about our own children? That’s nearly impossible, isn’t it? As schedules get more hectic, multitasking has become the new way of life. This can cloud our brains, causing us to forget something very near and dear: our kids.
Between 1998 and 2009, 445 children died in the U.S. from heat stroke because they were left unattended in cars that became too hot for them to survive. More than half of those children were forgotten by a caring adult because he or she got distracted after leaving the vehicle. There are a few simple things you can do to prevent this nightmare from happening to you:
- Set your cell phone reminder to be sure you drop your children off at daycare.
- Set your computer programs to ask, “Did you drop off at daycare today?”
- Place your cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase or gym bag on the floor in front of your child in the back seat. This forces you to open the back door and see your child when you leave the car.
- Ask your child care provider to call if your children do not arrive when expected.
You can learn more about the dangers of children left in vehicles at SafeKidsWI.org.
– Libbe Slavin, coordinator, Safe Kids Wisconsin
A member of Safe Kids Worldwide, Safe Kids Wisconsin works to prevent accidental injuries, the leading cause of death among children 14 years of age and younger. The coalition combines the expertise of Safe Kids coalitions and chapters statewide to prevent childhood injuries through collaboration, education, policy and advocacy initiatives. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is its lead agency.