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Understanding the Importance of Hot Car Safety in the Summertime

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A total of 39 children died when left in hot cars in 2016 in the United States, and 42 deaths occurred in 2017. The stories are predictable right every year: A parent or caregiver puts baby in back seat, parent drives somewhere intending to drop off baby, parent forgets baby in back seat. Then the baby dies from hyperthermia, known more commonly as heatstroke.

Heat stroke typically occurs when body temperature passes 104 degrees Fahrenheit, according to medical experts. Such internal heat overwhelms the brain's temperature control, causing symptoms such as dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, loss of consciousness and/or death.

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Tips to Keep Your Kids & Pets Safe this Summer

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  • Put your purse, briefcase, cell phone or lunch in the backseat so you are sure to look before you lock the door.

 

  • Make it a habit to always open the back door of your vehicle every time you park to make sure no child has been left behind.

 

  • Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat when it's empty; move the toy to the front seat when a child is riding in the car seat as a visual reminder that a child is on board.

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  • Place your child's car seat in the middle of the backseat rather than behind the driver. It's easier to see the child.


  • For pets, if there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car's owner. Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.


  •  If the owner can't be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive. In several states, good Samaritans can legally remove animals from cars under certain circumstances, so be sure to know the laws in your area.

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Did You Know?

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Did you know?  In some states it is a criminal offense to leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle; however, sadly for some parents, the loss is much greater than that of any arrest or prosecution.

Anyone who sees a young child, vulnerable adult, or animal left unattended in a vehicle during these extreme summer temperatures should contact emergency personnel immediately.

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