This post was sponsored Auto Alliance as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
You probably wouldn’t initially think of a child suffering from a heatstroke. I know when I think about summer concerns for my children, it’s usually things like drowning or an accident by a campfire. Unfortunately, in the US alone, an average of 37 young lives are lost each year from heatstroke as a result of being left unattended in an automobile. 37 children – that’s a lot!
If you’re like me, car seat safety is of the utmost importance. If you’re a parent or caregiver it’s NOT important to you, clearly you haven’t watched any of the videos on YouTube about car seat safety. I remember the first time I watched a powerful video that showed why extended rear-facing was safest for younger children. It was eye-opening! So much so that I turned my oldest, who was 2 years old at the time, BACK to rear-facing, even though she’d been forward-facing for a few weeks.
Now I try to share with all new parents the car seat safety tips I’ve learned over the years. One that, admittedly, I sometimes forget, is the need to be aware of the great dangers of heatstroke from being left in an automobile.
Are Non-Moving Vehicles Really THAT Dangerous?
The short answer is, YES! Even when the outside temperature is only 70 degrees, the inside of a parked car can still heat up to 120 degrees within just 15 minutes. And, that’s with the windows open. Did you realize that?! Not only that, but a child’s body can heat up 3 to 5 times after than an adult’s body. That’s why leaving a child in a parked car, even for a minute, should never ever happen. This can be lethal to children!
Learn to ACT
To help raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke in automobiles, the Auto Alliance recently launched a campaign in support of the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Look Before You Lock: Never Leave A Child Alone in a Car” outreach letter.
This summer, remember to ACT to prevent heatstroke with the following suggestions:
- A-Avoid: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
- C-Create Reminders: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
- T-Take Action: If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
It Can Happen to Anyone
Many cases involve kids being left in a car by mistake. 75% are children under age of two years old and 50% are children under a year old.
I know what you’re thinking. I’ll never forget my children in the car. Please hear me out — it can happen to anyone! One time I loaded up the kids and headed to my inlaws’ house for the day. Our dog, Emmy, LOVES to go play there at their house with their dog. We have a minivan and there is plenty of space in the trunk area for her, so she usually rides back there. Well, we got to my inlaws house and the kids eagerly ran into the house. I grabbed the baby and followed them in, forgetting the dog.
Don’t worry – I DID remember her a few minutes later and she was fine, but it could have been much worse! I get it that she is a pet and not a child, but the point is, I never would have thought that I (and my older children for that matter) would forget about her.
How I Remember to NOT Forget My Children in the Car
Because I don’t want to risk forgetting about any of my children (or the dog in the future!), I’ve started taking precautions. Certainly, one thing that helps is that my older children are typically with me and they would help to remind me. But, on times when I leave the house with just the younger child(ren) I always put my purse back with them. It’s an easy way to make sure I don’t forget them. For men, leaving a wallet in the back seat would work just as well.
And, how do we make sure we don’t forget the dog anymore? Easy – now we take off her leash and one of the children holds it. It’s one small extra step that is worth the effort!