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Every year, children die of hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke, while unattended in vehicles. Hot cars and heat-related health risks are a threat to the more than 375,000 children in Georgia. In 2015, there were 24 heatstroke deaths of children left unattended in vehicles. Though this figure is down from 30 reported in 2014, much awareness is still needed.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide data and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children age 14 and underrepresenting 61 percent of total non-crash fatalities in this age group. Also, more than 500 children ages 14 and under are seen in emergency rooms for heat exhaustion in cars each year.
As parents and foster caregivers, it is our duty to help prevent more tragedies by remembering to ACT.
Avoid heat stroke-related injury and death by:
• Never leaving your child alone in the car, even for a minute.
• Consistently locking unattended vehicle doors and trunks
Create reminders and habits that give you a safety net:
• Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times.
• Place a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cell phone or an item that is needed at your next stop in a back seat.
• Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at childcare. You can also ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for childcare.
Take action if you see an unattended child in a vehicle:
• Dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions that emergency personnel provides – they are trained to determine if a child is in danger.
Help spread the word!