Preventing Hot Car Deaths – Fad Or Possibility?
Preventing Hot Car Deaths
Is preventing hot car deaths something we should be paying closer attention to? Hot car deaths are becoming way too common place and many are wondering if there is any technology that can be put in place to prevent or even lessen this. Heatstroke is clinically defined as when a person’s temperature exceeds 104 degrees F and their thermoregulatory mechanism is overwhelmed. Symptoms include : dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, hot dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, loss of consciousness, rapid heart beat, hallucinations (Null, 2016)
In the past two decades, almost 700 children have died after being left in hot cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (KATC.com, 2016)
Amid the heat wave in parts of the U.S., there has been a spike in the number of kids who died after being left in hot cars. (CBS News, 2016)
Why is this getting so common or is it just because of the many cases that are being reported? It takes just 10 minutes for the inside of a car to get really hot which is no match for a helpless child. Children’s body temperature heats up four times faster than adults so it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is just bad news all around. I am not here to pass judgement, I am here to ask all of us to be doubly careful and watchful.
Preventing Hot Car Deaths – Examples
3-year-old died in an SUV parked outside a Dallas church.
8 month old left in hot car for about two hours in Baton Rouge
4 year old left in car for several hours in Pennsylvania
2 year old in Annandale, VA (suffered second degree burns)
15 month old in Connecticut
Twin toddlers die in hot truck in Louisiana
Life Saving Technology?
Automakers are working together to help lessen or even prevent so many hot car deaths. General Motors is hoping that its new technology called Rear Seat Reminder will help to remind parents to check the back seat before leaving a vehicle. This technology is now available in the new Acadia.
Drivers are also encouraged to download any apps to their smart devices that might help in any way as a reminder of the precious cargo in the backseat.
Bracelet called the Buddy Tag that beeps when your child is out of range
EvenFlo’s smart car seat can sense when a baby is left behind and sound an alarm
Alarm Buckles to attach to car seats can also act as a reminder
Hot Car Safety Tips
This list compiled by Patch serves as a great reminder to all of us.
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- Put your purse, briefcase, cell phone or lunch in the backseat so you are sure to look before you lock the door.
- Make it a habit to always open the back door of your vehicle every time you park to make sure no child has been left behind.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s empty; move the toy to the front seat when a child is riding in the car seat as a visual reminder that a child is on board.
- Place your child’s car seat in the middle of the backseat rather than behind the driver. It’s easier to see the child.
- Arrange with your day-care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there as scheduled.
- Lock your vehicles at all times — even in the garage or driveway – so youngsters can’t climb in without your knowledge.
- Keep keys and remote openers out of the reach of children.
- Check vehicles and car trunks first when a child is missing.
- Take action if you see a child alone in a vehicle. Call 911 immediately.
- Discuss the issue of hot-car safety with everyone who drives your child, including partners, grandparents, and babysitters.
- Use drive-through services when available at restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc. to remain in the vehicle with your child.
- Use your debit or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.
We all have to be involved in preventing hot car deaths because children cannot fend for themselves!
CBS News (2016). Automaker creates tech to help prevent hot car deals. Retrieved From http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/automaker-creates-tech-to-help-prevent-hot-car-deaths/
KATC (2016). Man Freed After Arrest in Death of Daughter Left in Hot Car. Retrieved From http://www.katc.com/story/32175847/baby-dies-after-being-left-in-hot-car
Null, J. (2016). Heatstroke Deaths of Children in Vehicles. Retrieved From http://noheatstroke.org/#2015a
Pelt, D. (2015). 30 Hot Days, 30 Lost Children: Season for Hot Car Deaths Arrives. Retrieved From http://patch.com/maryland/annapolis/30-hot-days-30-lost-children-season-car-deaths-arrives-0