Posted: May 8, 2012 at 12:22 PM [May 8, 2012]
Ann Arbor, Mich. – With warm temperatures upon us, Safe Kids Huron Valley, a non-profit organization working to prevent unintentional injuries to children, reminds caregivers to never leave children alone in a vehicle. A child left unattended in a vehicle can suffer from hyperthermia or heat stroke when temperatures are as low as the mid-50s. On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes.
Although most parents assume this could never happen to them, there is no common description of the caregiver that has experienced this tragedy. It has happened to the rich and poor, educated and less educated, women and men, city dwellers and suburbanites, and in all but one state - Wyoming.
This month, a 7-month old died after being left alone in a hot pickup truck in the Sugar Land area of Houston, TX. Officials indicated the baby’s father had dropped his older children off at school and then drove to a business conference, forgetting to drop off his 7-year old.
Since 1998, more than 500 children have died from hyperthermia or heat stroke as a result of being left alone in a vehicle. Regrettably, Michigan has not been immune to these tragedies.
“We simply must get that number to zero,” said Amy Teddy, Safe Kids Huron Valley and injury prevention program manager for Mott Children’s Hospital. “We want to remind parents that there is no safe way to leave a child unattended in a vehicle – even for one minute. The inside of a car acts like a greenhouse and because children’s bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults, this makes them much more susceptible to heat stroke.”
Here’s what parents and caregivers need to know and can do:
About Safe Kids Huron Valley
Safe Kids Huron Valley, which includes Livingston and Washtenaw counties, works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children through age 14. Safe Kids Huron Valley is a member of Safe Kids Michigan and Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Huron Valley is proudly led by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1987 as the National SAFE KIDS Campaign by Children’s National Medical Center with support from Johnson & Johnson, Safe Kids Worldwide is a 501© (3) non-profit organization located in Washington, D.C. For more information about Safe Kids, visit: www.safekids.org or www.michigansafekids.org. For more information about Safe Kids Huron Valley, visit us on Facebook.