Message Monday

Feel the heat? Make it a habit to check baby seat

It may seem difficult to believe, but an average of 38 kids die every year in the United States due to heatstroke from being left in hot cars. Last year was an especially dangerous year, as 52 children perished in this way. Already this year 21 kids have died according to https://www.kidsandcars.org/how-kids-get-hurt/heat-stroke/

Heatstroke in children can happen quickly, as their bodies are smaller and weigh less, and are more prone to the effects of extreme temperatures. It doesn’t need to be a hot day. When the temperature outside is as low as 60 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 110 degrees. If a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child will die.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, heatstroke doesn’t typically occur because irresponsible people intentionally leave children in cars; most cases occur when a child is mistakenly left or gets into a vehicle unattended and becomes trapped. Change in routine is often cited as a reason the caregiver left the child in the vehicle.

If you are a caregiver, one simple idea is to put one of your shoes or another item you need every day in the backseat with the child. This will give you a reason to look into the backseat when you reach your destination. Another idea is to keep a stuffed animal or another memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.

The stories are heartbreaking. Here are the details of the 21st child to die this year – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/16/hot-car-deaths-virginia-girl-21st-child-die-year-reports/1751432001/

For 2019, there have been 170 fatalities reported. That’s an increase of four since last Monday. The 2018 fatality count stands at 318. This is subject to change as law enforcement reports are completed. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf.

July 29, 2019