Hyperthermia has been in the news lately, due to the high-profile Georgia case. But did you know that just over 50% of all hyperthermia deaths are caused by caregivers accidentally leaving their children in vehicles? Most often, these are loving parents, who have a disastrous lapse in memory – often caused by a combination of the sleep deprivation experienced by many new parents and the hectic lives we all lead.
Thirteen children have already lost their lives this year to this tragedy. Being aware that we are all susceptible is the first step – following that up by taking extra precautions is the next.
*Never leave your child unattended in a motor vehicle – even for a minute. Cars heat up very quickly, even on a day that doesn’t seem very hot – and even with windows cracked.
*Put a backup plan into place. Ask your child care provider to call you if your child does not arrive as expected. Put something in that back seat that you will need at your destination. If your routine changes, give someone permission to give you a reminder call – “Did you drop the baby at daycare?”
*Make it a habit – look before you lock. Check the backseat every time you exit the car, even if you don’t normally have your child with you. One day, it might save your child’s life.
By the numbers:
According to ggweather.com, over a 14-year period, hyperthermia deaths were caused in the following ways -
52% – child “forgotten” by caregiver (316 Children)
29% – child playing in unattended vehicle (175)
18% – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (108)
1% – circumstances unknown (6)
Here’s a video from Safe Kids Worldwide with more about this danger.
Safe Kids Heat Stroke Awareness