Prevent Vehicle-Related Heatstroke: Remember to A.C.T. - Cincinnati Children's Blog

Prevent Vehicle-Related Heatstroke: Remember to A.C.T.

It’s starting to feel like summer and these warmer days call for a reminder about the danger of vehicle-related heatstroke.

The most recent data lists heatstroke as one of the leading causes of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. On average, every 7 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. The average age of the victims is just 21 months old.

Whether it’s a child who has climbed into a car to play and can’t get back out, or a child who is left in the car, the scenario is gut-wrenching – and 100 percent preventable.

You can help prevent this type of injury or death – remember  “ACT” to reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke.

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Vehicles heat up quickly and in outside temperatures in the low 80s, even with windows rolled down two inches, temperatures inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes.

Children’s bodies overheat easily, especially children under 4 years old. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s body temperature may increase three to five times as quickly as an adult – please remember to ACT to keep them safe and please share this information as broadly as you can.

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Dawne Gardner

About the Author: Dawne Gardner

Keeping kids safe is Dawne’s passion. As an Injury Prevention Specialist and Ohio Certified Car Seat Technician for the Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center at CCHMC, Dawne educates and trains families, community organizations and employees on best practices for the prevention of pediatric unintentional injury. Utilizing her MBA and experience in community engagement, she helped develop and implement community outreach that has been shown to measurably decrease the frequency of pediatric home injuries treated in our local emergency rooms. Dawne is dedicated to providing effective injury prevention outreach that will help keep children safe in the places they live and play.

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