JUNE 17, 2015

Children and pets unattended in a car – “look before you leave”

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car tempWith temperatures soaring over 110 degrees, Rural/Metro Fire Department has seen a dramatic increase in the number of children and pets that have been locked inside unattended vehicles. Please do your part this summer to stop these preventable, tragic emergencies.

Safety recommendations:
• Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Not even for a minute!
• If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle call 9-1-1.
• Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don't overlook sleeping babies
• Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices.
• Teach children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
• If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk.
• Keep a stuffed animal in the carseat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver. Or place your purse, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
• Make "look before you leave" a routine whenever you get out of the car.

By the numbers (Nationwide):
• Total number of U.S. heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, 1998-present: 641
• Average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998: 37
• Roughly 50 percent of all incidents of children being left unattended in a car are related to a caregiver “forgetting”.
• In the period of 1998 through 2014, a total of 636 infants and children died of heatstroke inside hot motor vehicles. Who was more likely to forget?
Mother: forgotten 98; 29% of total
Father: forgotten 115; 34% of total
Both parents: forgotten 35; 10% of total

At 100 degrees outside, a vehicle can reach 140 degrees inside within 5 minutes.
Like a child drowning, incidents of children and pets being locked inside a hot vehicle are 100 percent preventable.

Remember, “Look before you leave”

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