Summer is quickly approaching and with it sweltering temperatures. In an effort to continue educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of heat stroke to children left unattended in vehicles, Safe Kids Bear River is reminding parents to take all of the necessary precautions to reduce heat stroke deaths to children. Unfortunately, there have already been three confirmed heat stroke fatalities this year. The first occurred in early March in Florida on a day that reached only 73 degrees, the second occurred in late April in Georgia on a day that reached 86 degrees and the third occurred just six days later in Texas on a day that reached 80 degrees. Between 1998 and 2010, 450 children died from heat stroke because they were unattended in vehicles that became too hot for them to survive. As summer approaches and temperatures soar, Safe Kids Bear River reminds parents and caregivers to always check for sleeping children before leaving a vehicle. “A child’s core body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s, making them more susceptible to heat stroke – even on a day with mild temperatures” said Farrin Wiese, Safe Kids Bear River Coordinator. “Our goal is to raise awareness of just how dangerous it is to leave a child unattended in a vehicle, as well as to remind parents and caregivers of important safety precautions they can take to avoid this preventable tragedy.” Safe Kids Bear River urges all adults to take the following steps: * Call 911 if they see a child unattended in a vehicle. * Never leave children alone in a vehicle – even for a minute. * Set your cell phone or Blackberry reminder to be sure you drop your child off at daycare. * Set your computer “Outlook” program to ask you, “Did you drop off at daycare today?” * Have a plan with your child care provider to call if your child does not arrive when expected. * Check cars and trunks first if a child goes missing. More than 50 percent of the children who died from heat stroke were forgotten by a caring adult who became distracted when they left the vehicle. Thirty percent of kids who died from hyperthermia were left unattended by an adult or gained entry into an unlocked vehicle and became trapped and overcome by heat. “It takes only minutes for a child to be at risk of death and serious, permanent injury in a hot car” added Wiese. “Drivers must keep car doors locked and keys out of reach from young children at all times.” For more information on preventing hyperthermia deaths, please visit www.safekids.org/nlyca and www.ggweather.com/heat. Be sure to never leave your child alone in a vehicle.
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