Beat the heat and check the backseat
It happened again Monday: A child died after being left inside a parked car while a parent went to work. It happened despite the attention given by cable news broadcasts to a similar case last month.
Yet, The Associated Press reports, more than three dozen children die of hyperthermia every year after being left in parked automobiles. In the time if takes a child to grow up and be a driver, more than 500 children have died in hot cars.
Helpfully, the wire service offers these tips from Connecticut State Police, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and kidsandcars.org to avoid such accidental deaths:
Never leave children alone in a vehicle to run even a short errand. Use drive-thru windows at banks, dry cleaners and restaurants whenever possible. Use a debit or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.
Put a purse, cellphone or other item you will need in the back seat of your car. This will ensure you check the back seat before leaving the vehicle.
Make a habit of opening the back door of your car and checking the back seat whenever you exit it.
Keep a stuffed animal or toy in your child’s unoccupied car seat. Put that item in the front seat when you place the child in the seat as a reminder the child is in the back of the car.
If a child is missing, immediately check the car, including the trunk.
If you see a child alone in any vehicle for more than a few minutes, get the child out and call 911.
This isn’t just a summertime issue. The AP reports the temperature inside an automobile can top 110 degrees even when the outside temperature is in the 60s.
It also isn’t just an issue involving infants. According to a study of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles by Jan Null of the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences at San Francisco State University, some of those deaths involved school-age children – some teenagers.