Eight children died in hot cars in one week, prompting child-safety advocates to start campaigns reminding parents not to leave their kids in the car on a hot day, even for a small amount of time.
In South Florida, many of the heat-related child deaths have occurred because parents, grandparents, or other caregivers have forgotten the children were in the back of their cars while they ran errands, went to work, or were at home, reports The Sun-Sentinel.
Donna Bryan, the Safety Council of Palm Beach County’s marketing director, stated, “It happens to everyone in all walks of life.” In order to combat this, child-safety advocates have launched campaigns in order to combat the rising incidents of hot cars resulting in children dying. The safety council has handed out 20,000 blue bracelets with the words “Baby In Back” in bold type, in hopes that the bracelets serve as a reminder to parents and caregivers that their children/charges are in the back seat.
San Francisco State has said that 17 percent of heat stroke cases happen when parents think they can run a quick errand with their kids still in the car. In 52 percent of cases, however, children died of heat stroke because their child was simply forgotten by a caregiver.
The Detroit Free Press notes that, despite this, children are still dying in hot cars. Eight children died in the US during the first week of august alone. The number is believed to be the most ever in a single week, prompting concerns, especially since this year alone, 23 children have died of hyperthermia in cars in 13 states, according to the advocacy group Safe Kids Worldwide. Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, stated:
“Never leave your child alone unattended, not even for a minute.”
Because of the unusually high amount of children dying in hot cars this year, the NHTSA has made it their priority to warn parents about the dangers of leaving their children in the car, even for a few minutes, and have also warned them that electronic devices designed to alert parents of a child’s presence in a vehicle are largely unreliable.
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