For Immediate Release: June 22, 2012

Safe Kids NC Urges Parents to "Look Before You Lock"

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin warns about the dangers of hot cars

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, Safe Kids North Carolina and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are reminding everyone to "Look Before You Lock" to prevent heat stroke deaths that occur as the result of children being left or trapped in unattended vehicles.

On average, nearly 40 children across the country die from heat exposure each year. Since 1999, at least 19 children in North Carolina have died, when they entered a vehicle unnoticed, when a caregiver accidentally forgot them in a car, or when they were intentionally left in a vehicle while their caregiver performed another task or errand. *

"The unfortunate thing is that these tragedies are completely avoidable," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, state chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "By taking simple steps, we can help one another prevent the tragedy of child heat stroke."

The danger of vehicular hyperthermia in children in North Carolina spreads from March through November due to the subtropical climate. Hyperthermia can occur even on days with mild 70-degree temperatures. The temperature in a closed vehicle can rise about 20 degrees in 10 minutes and nearly 30 degrees in 20 minutes. Cracking a window has little effect.

Here's what parents and caregivers can do to prevent tragedies:

And if you see an unattended child in a vehicle:

Safe Kids North Carolina reaches out to parents, caregivers and children to prevent childhood injuries through 38 Safe Kids Coalitions working in 66 counties. For more information, visit www.ncsafekids.org or www.safercar.gov.

--NCSK--