“Look Before You Lock” – Keeping NY Kids Out of Hot Cars
NEW YORK – Life is about to get very busy again. Sometimes parents get frazzled getting kids to school and running them around to all their activities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that’s why parents and day-care providers need to make sure children are not accidentally left in overheated cars – even for a few minutes.
Kate Carr, president of Safe Kids Worldwide, says August isn’t the only time to be alert – it happens year-round. She warns that children left – even briefly – in a vehicle in which heat has built up can be in danger.
“It is not just a summertime occurrence. Deaths from hyperthermia or heat stroke have occurred in 11 months of the year, in 46 of the 50 states.”
NHTSA uses the slogan, “Look before you lock.” And if you see a child alone inside someone else’s vehicle, Carr says always call 911.
Denise Dowd, an emergency-room physician, says even when the weather temperature moderates, children left in cars are still in danger.
“It always heats up way above that inside of a locked car. Even on a day when it’s only 80 degrees or 70 degrees, it can quickly get up above 100 degrees. Kids can get hyperthermia there, for sure.”
According to NHTSA, in half the cases parents forget their child, and in a third of the cases, children get inside an unlocked car by themselves and cannot get out.
One recommendation is to keep a stuffed toy in the baby seat. Whenever the child is in the car, the toy is next to you as a reminder to “look before you lock.”