McKINNEY (May 31, 2013) – An average of 38 children in the USA die every year as a result of heat related illness after being left in a vehicle. Texas consistently reports the highest numbers of these incidents.
“More than half of all vehicle-related heatstroke deaths in children are caused by a child accidentally being left in the car, and more than 30 percent are from a child getting into a hot car on their own,” notes Stacie Durham, Public Information Officer for the McKinney Fire Department (MFD).
In an effort to prevent these tragedies, the MFD urges all parents and caregivers:
• Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended.
• Look in the backseat every time you exit your vehicle.
• Always lock your vehicle and put the keys out of reach of young children.
Durham reminds the public, “If you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call 9-1-1 right away! You may save a life.”
“Children’s body temperatures can rise up to five times faster than that of an adult, and heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees,” said MFD’s Emergency Medical Services Chief, Kyle Easley. “On an 80 degree day, a car can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.”
The McKinney Fire Department wants everyone to have a safe and enjoyable summer. If you provide care for children, remember to always, “Look Before You Lock.”
For detailed information on keeping children safe in and around vehicles or other important topics, visit mckinneyfire.org or call 972-547-2850.