Kids left in cars vulnerable to heatstroke

By Katie Philpott

With spring upon us and a few days of higher than average temperatures, it’s time to start thinking about heatstroke prevention for kids in cars.

Every 10 days in the U.S., a child dies from being left in a hot car. These deaths are preventable and most result from a distracted caregiver forgetting that the child has been left in the car.

Here in South Carolina, fortunately, we haven’t had a recorded instance of a child death from heatstroke after being left in a car since 2011. DHEC’s Division of Children’s Health is focused on continuing to prevent these deaths by partnering with Safe Kids South Carolina to get the word out to families about the dangers of leaving children alone in hot cars and the steps parents can take to keep their kids safe. This is especially important in S.C. where the summer temperatures and high humidity can heat cars to dangerous levels extremely quickly.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Don’t leave your child alone in the car, even for a minute.
  • Remember to ACT: Avoid heatstroke. Create reminders. Take action.
  • If you see a child left alone in a hot car, call 911 immediately.

For more information about the dangers of leaving children alone in hot cars and for tips on how reduce preventable heatstroke deaths in kids, visit Safe Kids Worldwide.

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