Seminole County Sheriff’s deputy in Sanford, Florida, has talked about frightening moments after he discovered a three-year-old child left inside a baking-hot car.
Bill Dunn said there was no sign of a heart beat and he frantically took the child and raced to his cruiser, blasting cold air through the police vehicle’s air conditioning system. Her heart began racing again.
He then rushed her to hospital where doctors took over. All Dunn could do was go back to his cruiser and slump over the hood.
While this child lived, many other children forgotten or left behind in parked cars don’t survive.
According to the organization kidsandCars.org statistics available up to July 22 indicates a trend that the year will likely stand as a record for hot car deaths in the US.
Already this year there have been 28 confirmed child vehicular heatstroke deaths in the United States.
“This represents more hot car deaths than we have ever suffered by July 22 during any year in U.S. history.”
Every year on average, 37 children die in hot cars in our country. July is the deadliest month of the year for these tragedies. Last year 43 young children died.
These tragedies are predictable and preventable. KidsAndCars.org is urging parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant during any changes in the daily routine. This is when most tragedies occur.
KidsAndCars.org president and founder Janette Fennell said, “We always see an increase in child injuries and deaths this time of year.
“It is devastating to know that there are families all across America right now holding their precious babies, unaware that they will lose them in a hot car this summer. But, these children don’t have to die. Parents and caregivers have the power to make sure that this doesn’t happen to them.”
Look Before You Lock Safety Checklist
Make sure your child is never left behind in the back seat of a car:
• Make it a routine to open the back door of your car every time you park to check that no one has been left behind.
• Put something you need in the back seat to remind you to open the back door every time you park – cell phone, employee badge, handbag, left shoe, work computer, etc. (The idea is if you leave the vehicle without this item, you would have to go back to get it.)
• Ask your babysitter or child care provider to call you if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
• Keep a stuffed animal in baby’s car seat. Place it on the front passenger seat as a reminder when baby is in the back seat.
Make sure children cannot get into a parked car:
• Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in the garage or driveway and even if you do not have children.
• Keys and remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
• If a child is missing, immediately check the passenger compartment and trunk of all vehicles in the area very carefully.