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Preventive tips for leaving children in cars

Because heat stroke is the leading cause of non-car crash deaths in children under 15 in the United States, organizations are giving advice on how to prevent it.

ARKANSAS, USA — According to website noheatstroke.org910 children have died of vehicular heat stroke in the United States since 1998, including 18 in Arkansas.

Cars heat up quickly in hot weather, and children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults’. This makes it dangerous if a child is left in a hot car, even for a short period of time.

Cracking a window and/or the air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is turned off. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash and vehicle-related death among children under age 15 in the United States.

The AAP has these tips for parents and guardians:

  • Always check the backseat and make sure all children are out of the car before locking it and walking away

  • If you are taking your children to daycare, ask the provider to call you if they are more than 10 minutes late

  • Put your cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat so that every time you arrive you have to check behind you

  • Keep your car locked when parked to prevent a curious child from entering when no one is around. Many hot car deaths have occurred when a child has mistakenly locked themselves inside.

  • Make sure that children do not have easy access to your car keys. Keep them away from places where they can find them.

  • Teach children that cars are not safe places to play and remind them that cars, especially car trunks, should not be used for games like hide and seek.

If you see a child unattended in a car and you are concerned, you should immediately call 911.

According kidsandcars.orgonly 20 states in the United States have laws specifically prohibiting leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.

In Arkansas, there is a law that allows law enforcement to provide only verbal warnings.

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