When was the last time you left your child alone in a car?
We hope never, but if you did, please promise to never do it again. Every year approximately 38 children die after they were unattended in a vehcile. Make it a point to lock all car doors and trunks and to NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD ALONE IN A CAR.
In 2010, forty-nine children died when they were left unattended in vehicles and were overcome by heat stroke in the United States. Three of these children lived in Ohio. Children died in one of three ways:
- They were left unknowingly in vehicles when the driver became distracted at the destination and forgot there was a child in the vehicle.
- The driver knowingly left the child in the vehicle as they ran an errand.
- The driver left the vehicle unlocked or the key fob in reach and a child or children climbed into the vehicle to play unattended.
Follow these tips to be sure this preventable tragedy does not happen to you.
- Dial 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a car. EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble.
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even for one minute. Leaving a window slightly open has no effect on the temperature in a vehicle.
- Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or whatever it is to be carried from the car on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This forces the adult to open the back door and observe the child when they reach for their belongings.
- Set your cell phone or Blackberry reminder to be sure you dropped your child off at day care.
- Set your computer “Outlook” program to ask, “Did you drop off at day care today?”
- Have a plan that if your child is later for daycare that you will be called within a few minutes. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at daycare.
- Teach children not to play in any vehicle.
- Lock all vehicle doors and trunk – especially at home. Cars are not playgrounds.
- Check vehicles and trunks FIRST if a child goes missing.
Source: Safe Kids USA – www.safekids.org/nlyca