2018 was the deadliest year in two decades for children left in hot cars. As families enter the peak months for fatalities, pediatricians can raise awareness of this preventable killer of children.
“We know that further progress is needed to prevent injury and death in children forgotten and left behind in motor vehicles,” said Marilyn J. Bull, M.D., FAAP, president-elect of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM). “There are immediate steps we can take, including developing effective education and advocacy strategies that will complement new and existing technology.”
“ACT” on heatstroke prevention by sharing these tips from the AAAM and SafeKids Worldwide:
A: Avoid heatstroke injury and death by never leaving kids in the car alone. Keep the car locked to prevent kids from getting in on their own.
C: Create reminders. Put a stuffed animal in the back when it is empty and move it to the front seat when your child is in back. Parents also could secure their purse, briefcase or phone in the backseat next to the child.
T: Take action. Call 911 if you see a child alone in a car.
Vehicles heat up quickly
|Outside temperature on sunny day (Fahrenheit)||Temperature inside car after 60 minutes (Fahrenheit)|
|72 degrees||117 degrees|
|84 degrees||125 degrees|
|93 degrees||130 degrees|
Source: Pediatrics. 2005;116:e109-112