For Immediate Release: July 13, 2011
Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car
Dangerous temperatures prompt warning from Safe Kids North Carolina
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina, reminds parents and caregivers to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, for any length of time. With its soaring temperatures, July is historically the deadliest month for child fatalities in hot cars, but hyperthermia can occur even on days with mild 70 degree temperatures. Even a few minutes of heat exposure in a closed vehicle can kill a child or pet.
Some of these deaths occur when a parent or caregiver accidentally forgets a child in a car; some occur when a child is intentionally left in a vehicle. In other cases, a child was playing in an unattended vehicle when overtaken by heat.
"These deaths can be prevented," said Goodwin. "Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle or let a child play in a vehicle. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 right away."
Follow these safety tips from Safe Kids North Carolina:
- Never leave a child alone in a vehicle. Check to make sure all children exit the vehicle when you reach your destination.
- Lock the doors when your vehicle is parked. Teach children that cars are not places to play.
- As a busy parent, you have a lot on your mind, so give yourself a reminder. Place your purse, briefcase or other important item in the backseat next to your child's seat to help you remember to look in the back before leaving the car.
- Set a reminder on your cell phone or other mobile device to remind you to drop off children at school or daycare when routines change.
- Make an agreement with your child's school or day care that you will be notified if your child is not dropped off at the normal time.
- If you see a child or a pet left unattended in a vehicle, call 911 immediately.
- Check vehicles and trunks first if a child goes missing.
For more information, visit the Safe Kids North Carolina Web site.