This post was sponsored Auto Alliance as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Summer is here, which also means the risk of heatstroke in automobiles is very high. Understanding the risks when it comes to kids and hot cars can help prevent a tragic accident this summer.
This time of year, it feels like I hear about a heat-related automobile death every week or so. As a mom of 6, I always hate hearing about accidents involving children, but hearing about accidents that are so easily prevented is heartbreaking.
Accidents happen quickly. We learned this first-hand a few years ago when my daughter experienced a near-drowning, despite having 6 adults watching her at the time.
A parked car with the windows open can get up to 120 degrees within just 15 minutes even when the outside temperature is only 70 degrees. I live in an area where it can routinely get up to 110 degrees in the summertime and I can’t imagine how hot the inside of my car gets.
The scariest thing that I hear parents say is, “that would never happen to me”. Being aware of the issues and staying vigilant can help prevent accidents.
As a mom of 6, who has experienced some close calls with my kids in the past, I know how important it is to stay alert and not assume we are above having an accident happen to us. Accidents happen so quickly and they can happen to anyone.
Heat affects children far sooner than it affects adults. This is because a child’s body heats up 3-5 times faster than an adult does so they are at risk of serious injury much more quickly than an adult is.
Every year an average of 37 children lose their lives after being left in hot cars. That is 37 families who have their lives changed forever by an avoidable accident.
The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recommends you “Look Before You Lock” by following the ACT mnemonic:
- A-Avoid: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and the potentially deadly consequences by avoiding leaving your child alone in the car at all, even if you are just going to be away for a moment. Prevent your kids from getting into your car when you aren’t aware by keeping your car locked so your kids can’t get in in their own.
- C-Create Reminders: I’m a big fan of reminders. With 6 kids, I know I have a tendency to forget things so I like to have reminders and systems build in place to help me keep everyone safe. If you have a young, non-verbal child, put something in the backseat of your car to remind you to check the backseat. This is extra important if you are not following your normal routine. We are very much creatures of habit so when we do something outside of our norm accidents are more likely to happen.
- T-Take Action: We are all responsible for preventing accidents. If you see a child in a car by themselves, call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations and will know exactly what to do. Calling could save a child’s life.
Most accidents involving kids in hot cars are accidents. It happens to parents who want the best for their kids but just had a momentary lapse. 75% of children are under the age of 2 and 50% are under the age of one.
The good news is, heatstroke deaths are completely avoidable. Parents and caretakers need to be vigilant at all times. I am in the habit of double and triple checking the backseat of my car, even when I haven’t taken kids with me because I don’t want to ever make a mistake that takes my kids lives.