May 24, 2016, 12:00:00 AM CDT Jul 27, 2018, 1:41:30 PM CDT

5 Tips for preventing hot car deaths

Summer is almost here, and this means high temperatures. Busy, distracted parents can easily forget their children in hot cars. These tragedies are avoidable and following a few simple tips may help save lives.

Mother buckles her child in the car Mother buckles her child in the car

We all know that the Texas summer heat is serious business. But did you know that Texas leads the nation in hot car deaths? Each year an average of 10 children in Texas die from being left a hot car.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide , on a relatively mild 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And because a child's body heats up three to five times faster than an adult's, the risk of heat stroke, brain damage and death is much greater for children left in hot cars.

This means that only a few minutes can be the difference between life and death.

The Children’s Health Injury Prevention team reminds us that these incidents are avoidable and are often a result of life’s typical distractions, parents being in a hurry and transporting their children outside of their typical routine. If you are responsible getting your child from place to place, keep these tips in mind for preventing hot car tragedies:

  1. Place your cell phone, briefcase, purse or other important item in the backseat before driving to your destination. This will get you in the routine of checking the backseat every day.
  2. 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.
  3. Before getting out of the car, check to be sure everyone is out and lock all doors. Thirty percent of the deaths in the U.S. have occurred when a child climbed into an unlocked vehicle.
  4. Have a plan with your daycare providers. Ask them to call you if your child does not arrive on time, and they have not heard from you.
  5. If you see a child alone in a car, dial 911 immediately.

For more information on keeping your child safe, contact the Children’s Health Injury Prevention team at 214-456-1870.

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brain, emergency medicine, heat stroke, injury prevention, safety, stroke

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