Hot car injury prevention

Since 1998, more than 700 children nationwide — 20 in Kentucky and 12 in Indiana — have died from heat stroke while left unattended in vehicles. It only takes 10 minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to rise 20 degrees — 80 percent of the total heat rise occurs in the first 30 minutes. If a child is left inside even for a few minutes in a hot car, the consequences can be deadly.

It doesn’t have to be summer for a hot car-related injury or death; it can get up to 50 degrees higher than the current temperature inside of a car.

How to protect children from heat stroke and hot car-related injuries

More than half of child heat stroke deaths occur because parents or caregivers accidentally leave the child in the car. If you’re driving with a child in your car, use these tips to stay safe:

  • Do not leave a child in a car unattended. If you are exiting the vehicle, so should the child.
  • Choose an item that you need before leaving your car — a cellphone, purse or wallet — and place it on the floor in the back seat, in front of the child.
  • Set an alarm on your cellphone as a reminder to drop off your child at school or day care.
  • Set your computer calendar to remind you with a question such as, “Did you drop off at child care today?”
  • Ask your child care provider to call you if your child is absent.
  • Call 911 if you see a child alone in a car.
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