Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car
May 18, 2017
The message automakers, community leaders and moms around the nation are taking to the public in a national campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke in automobiles is: “Regardless of the temperature outside, it is never safe to leave a child alone in a car.”
Tragically, data shows an average of 37 young lives are lost each year from being unattended in cars. More than half of these victims are under a year old while 75 percent were under 2 years of age.
“Heatstroke fatalities are completely preventable, and parents and caregivers of little ones need to be especially vigilant,” Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), said. “That’s why public education is key.”
The Alliance encourages leaders at all levels of government to share information in the 2017 Heatstroke Brochure, which demonstrates how heatstroke happens and how it can be prevented.
“Heatstroke can be deadly and, unfortunately, children are the most vulnerable,” Mark Chernoby, Chief Technical Compliance Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., said. “Heatstroke claims an average of 37 promising futures every year. Partnering with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers on this campaign gives us the chance to remind people that it is dangerous to leave children unattended in cars, especially during the summer months. Doing something as simple as sending a tweet or posting a message on Facebook could help save a life.”
The campaign also features radio testimonials from members of congress from high-risk areas lending their voice on the importance of public education to prevent heatstroke deaths. In addition, a robust online network of “mommy bloggers” is helping to spread awareness.
Once a vehicle is parked, and its windows are closed or even left slightly open, temperatures can skyrocket. In mere minutes, the car’s interior temperature reaches that of the outside air. Young children are particularly at risk because their bodies can heat up three to five times faster than adults.
That is why automakers encourage the public to be vigilant, and ACT (Avoid, Create reminders and Take action):
Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you are not following your normal routine.
If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
For more information about heatstroke prevention, and to help spread awareness, visit www.autoalliance.org/heatstroke.