Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Alert: Cars, Kids, and Safety

image courtesy of stockimages/
Every summer the news is riddled with tragic reports about infants or toddlers, found or forgotten in cars, dying from heat exposure.  Sadly, incidences of children accidentally trapped in cars or run over while playing in driveways also increase during summer months. These are tragedies that can strike anyone; and while these stories are terrifying and heartbreaking, it is important to note that there are ways to help prevent these terrible accidents.

Nine Tips to Prevent Car-Related Tragedy This Summer

  • NEVER leave children alone in a car - not even for a moment; their bodies respond to increased temperature far more quickly (3 to 5 times more rapidly) than adults' and can suffer devastating damage or even death in a very short time. 
  • Be particularly careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at child care; these suggestions can help remind you that your children are with you, even if they fall asleep:
    • Place a sticky note or cling on your dashboard to remind you that your child is in your vehicle.
    • Always put an object that you can't leave your car without (i.e. cell phone, purse, lunch, laptop, etc.) in the backseat where the child is seated.
    • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat when it is not in use; when you place your child in the car seat, move the stuffed toy to the front seat.
    • Place your youngest or quietest child behind the passenger seat - you will be better able to notice if the child is there than if they are in a seat behind the driver's side.
    • Have your spouse or the child's day care provider contact you immediately if the child does not arrive at the day care facility at the normally appointed time.
  • Teach children NEVER to play in any vehicle.
  • Always keep vehicle doors and trunk locked, particularly at home, and keep keys out of the reach of children.
  • Install a trunk release mechanism to help prevent entrapment.
  • Watch children closely around vehicles to be sure they do not enter unnoticed, particularly during loading/unloading.
  • Double-check to ensure all children have left the vehicle when you reach your final destination.
  • If a child goes missing, in addition to checking pools and other bodies of water, check all nearby vehicles.
  • If you see a child alone in a car, dial 911 immediately.
For more helpful information and great products that can help keep your child(ren) safe in the car, check out  Safe, happy, and healthy travels.

-Destination Mom

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