NHTSA raising awareness of child heatstroke in cars

Posted at 7:42 AM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 08:14:04-04

On Monday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging people to take action for National Heatstroke Prevention day.

The NHTSA is hosting an all-day social media conversation to inform the public about the dangers heatstroke can pose to kids left in cars. Every 30 minutes starting at 7 a.m. the agency will be using the hashtags #heatstrokekills and #checkforbaby on all of its social media posts.

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related vehicle deaths for kids 14 and younger in the U.S. In the first six months of 2017, 26 children nationwide died of heatstroke after being left in a car.

The agency's "Where's baby?" Look before you lock" campaign includes several tips on how to remind yourself that you have a child in the car with you:

  • Place a briefcase, purse, or cell phone next to the child’s car seat so that you’ll always check the back seat before leaving the car.
  • Call your spouse or another caregiver to confirm you’ve dropped your child off.
  • Have your daycare provider call you if your child doesn’t arrive.
  • Write a note and place it on the dashboard of your car, or set a reminder on your cell phone or calendar.

For bystanders who see a child alone in a car, check to make sure the child is okay and responsive. If not call 911. If the child is not responsive and seems to be in distress, attempt to get into the car to help, even if that means breaking a window. If the child appears to be okay, try to find their parents or contact the facility's security or management page the car owner.