It’s that time of year, summer has arrived and the temperatures are rising, but so does the risk of heat-related injuries to children and animals left in vehicles. Since 1998, 942 children have died due to Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH). That is an average of 37 children dying each year in the US due to PVH. Research has shown that 78% of the deaths were a result of a caregiver unknowingly leaving the child in a car. Texas, Florida, and California account for the most PVC deaths. 58% of all these cases resulted in criminal charges being filed. Below are five child and animal vehicle safety tips to keep everyone safe this summer.
Never leave children in the car, even to run a quick errand. It can take just minutes for the car’s interior temperatures to heat up to a point that your child is in danger of hyperthermia or heatstroke.
- Don't take your pet "on a ride" if they can’t come inside when you arrive at your destination. Leaving them alone in a hot car will only put them at serious risk. Pets can suffer serious injuries when left in a hot car for only 15 minutes.
- Open the back door of your car each time you park to ensure all passengers are out of the vehicle. You think you would never accidentally leave a child in the car, but in over half of the deaths, that is exactly what happened. The caretaker got busy and forgot the child was with them.
- Make sure your car is always locked. Prevent your child from playing in a hot car that is parked in your driveway or garage by ensuring that they cannot get into the car. Keep any car keys and keyless entry remotes in a safe place where your kids cannot access them.
- Before placing a child inside a vehicle that has been sitting in the sun, ensure you open the vehicle up to dissipate the heat from inside. Young children, the elderly, and animals can burn themselves on the leather car seats, the plastics of car seats, and the metal from seat belts.
Remember, warm temperatures put your child or pet at a greater risk of heatstroke or hyperthermia when left in a hot car during summer. If you see a child, a vulnerable adult, or a pet locked in a vehicle in obvious signs of distress, contact the Indian Harbour Beach Police Immediately at 321-773-3030 or dial 9-1-1.
Indian Harbour Beach Police Department
“We Serve….We Care”