Every summer, children get heatstroke or die in hot cars every summer, but a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert has some tips to help avoid such an injury or tragedy.
Bev Kellner, AgriLife Extension family and community health program manager in College Station, said it’s important to remember that as temperatures increase, so does the likelihood of heatstroke and death for children left in hot vehicles
Kellner said in just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can increase by almost 20 degrees.
To help avoid child vehicular heat deaths, Kellner said parents and other caregivers should consider the following tips from the Safe Kids organization and AgriLife Extension:
- Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.
- Make a habit of looking in the vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away.
- When parking a multi-passenger vehicle, make sure there are no children sleeping on the seats or hiding under them.
- Put a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cellphone or another item that will be needed in the back seat to help ensure you look there before leaving the vehicle.
- Set the alarm on your cellphone or computer calendar as a reminder to verify you have not left a child unattended in your vehicle.
- If you see an unattended child in a vehicle, dial 911 immediately and follow any instructions provided by emergency personnel.
On children getting into parked vehicles:
- Teach children not to play in and around vehicles.
- Always lock vehicles, even when in the garage or driveway.
- Never leave keys in the car and store them out of children’s reach.
- Identify and use safe play areas for children away from parked or moving vehicles.
She also noted other ways to help avoid children being accidentally locked in hot vehicles are to use drive-thru services when available and to pay for gas at the pump with a debit or credit card instead of going inside.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.