Often, hyperthermia tragedies occur when a parent or caregiver has forgotten the child is with them or unaware the child is in the vehicle. Occurences such as a change in routine, where a parent or caregiver is giving transport to the child when they normally don't and forget the quiet or sleeping child in the back seat. It can also happen when a child has climbed into an unlocked vehicle to play or hide. These accidents can happen to anyone.
In today's modern world of technology, there are even ways to get reminders through our cell phones! There's an app for iphones called "Baby Reminder". You can download this app that will send you an alert reminding you about your child when you reach a destination, by setting up the app to monitor you between specific times. Check it out at http://bit/ly/HnTxEl . A version for the Droid will be available soon. There are many other options you can use to help remind yourself to never leave your child alone. You should determine which option is best for you.
As we urge parents and caregivers to never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute, we also want to share some tips that could save a life.
ACT! AVOID. CREATE REMINDERS. TAKE ACTION.
Avoid: Never leaving your child alone in a car, even for a minute. Consistently locking unattended vehicle doors and trunks.
Create reminders and habits: Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting all other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times. Place a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cell phone or an item that is needed at your next stop in the back seat. Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at childcare. Make a habit of looking in the vehicle, both front and back seats, before locking the door and walking away. Ask the childcare provider to call if the child does not show up for care as expected.
Take action: If you see an unattended child in a vehicle, dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions that emergency personnel provide- they are trained to determine if a child is in danger.
*Please teach children not to play in or around vehicles. Store vehicle keys out of the reach of children.
For more information on ACT and how to prevent child heatstroke deaths visit www.safekids.org/heatstroke. Safe Kids wants everyone to have a safe and enjoyable summer.