A baby boy in Fresno, California died of heat exposure June 8 after he was left unintentionally in a vehicle, raising the national death toll of children left or trapped in hot vehicles to 10 this year and calling attention to these preventable tragedies. This issue has particular relevance in the Sunshine State: Three of the child vehicular heat stroke deaths occurred in Florida, where the temperature on a summer day can reach well into the upper 90s.
Child vehicular stroke deaths are tragic accidents that can be prevented by following safety precautions. Kidsandcars.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child vehicle-related deaths through the use of public awareness and education provided the following tips to keep your child safe:
- Leave your handbag, cellphone, employee badge or another item you will need in the back seat of your vehicle so you will have to open the backdoor every time you park.
- Keep a stuffed animal on your child’s car seat. When your child is seated in the car seat, place the stuffed animal on the passenger seat as a reminder that your child is in the car.
- Make it a habit to open the back door of your vehicle every time you park to check that no one has been left behind.
- Always keep your vehicle locked when it is parked in the driveway or garage.
- Have your babysitter or child care provider call you if your child hasn’t arrived on time.