This timely Wellness Wednesday was provided by staff at the National Safety Council. Please read and share widely.
More than 100 children have died in hot cars during the last two years. Since 1998, more than 863 children have died in hot cars. These deaths have occurred during all months of the year, and in all but three states in the U.S. Twenty-five percent have occurred in employer parking lots while the parent or caregiver was at work. Parents, caregivers, and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) teachers can act immediately to end these preventable deaths.
How does it happen? It seems like an unthinkable act, but it can happen to anyone. Often it happens when parents or caregivers are especially busy or tired, or there is a change in regular routine – all of which increase the risk of making a potentially fatal mistake.
“That morning, before work, I took my daughter to a doctor’s appointment. After the appointment I was going to drop her off at daycare and then head to my office. But unfortunately that didn’t happen. What started off as a normal day for me turned into the worst nightmare any parent or caregiver could imagine.” - Reginald McKinnon (Kids In Hot Cars Report, 2018)
The National Safety Council (NSC) encourages you to complete the free interactive online training, Children in Hot Cars. Available in Spanish and English, this training provides vital information about the dangers of vehicular heatstroke, the three common circumstances that have led to children dying and what we all can do to prevent these deaths. Additionally, this training includes white papers and free resources that can be shared.
In 2020, there have been fourteen confirmed vehicular heatstroke deaths. During the pandemic, there is increased attention on children gaining access to unlocked vehicles. Furthermore, as parents face tough decisions regarding exposure to COVID-19, it still remains true that there are no safe time periods to leave a child unattended in a vehicle. By taking the NSC Hot Cars training as an FCS educator and sharing this resource with your family, friends and association network, you can be at the forefront of ending such tragic and preventable deaths, and help ensure we are creating healthy and sustainable families across our nation. A certificate of completion is provided at the end of this training. Learn more at nsc.org/hotcars.
Statistical information can be found at www.noheatstroke.org.