Feds Join Fight To Prevent Heat Stroke Killing Children
(CNN) – A hot summer has led to the kinds of headlines parents dread: children found dead of heatstroke after they were accidentally left in a vehicle. 23 youngsters have died so far this year, and the government says last week alone, the death toll was 8 in seven days.
Now the U.S. government is stepping up with a campaign aimed to help parents and the public remember their children–before it’s too late.
The stories happen all too often: a parent leaves a child in a hot car, with deadly results.
Before this, I too would ask, how could you forget your child?
Reggie McKinnon says he couldn’t believe a good parent could do that … Until he did…on a warm march day in Florida in 2010.
I opened the back door of my SUV to put my laptop down, that’s the exact moment I would never forget.
His 17 month old daughter Payton was dead in her car seat—he’d forgotten to drop her off at daycare after taking her to a doctor’s appointment. Payton was one of at least 49 children who died in 2010 of heatstroke in a vehicle in what’s the leading cause of non-crash deaths for children in cars.
“We’re focused on a danger that’s 100 percent preventable…100 Percent preventable.”
The department of transportation and the department of health and human services are now teaming up to educate people about the threat. They’re joining a campaign called: where’s baby: look before you lock.
Parents need to get in the habit of looking in the rear before they lock the car.
Another step: making sure childcare providers connect with parents if the child doesn’t show up as expected….and doing so quickly:
As this government presentation showed…when its 94 degrees outside a car, it’s 124 inside…that’s a deadly heat … And a reminder that the best way to keep children from enduring it, is making sure they’re never in it.
In Washington, I’m Emily Schmidt.
You can find out more about the Look Before You Lock campaign at: www.SaferCar.gov/heatstroke