As temperatures continue to rise, two more heatstroke deaths were reported in Georgia on August 4, 2016. Twin 15-month old girls were left in a vehicle by their father and succumbed to the hot temperatures. These deaths mark the 25th and 26th related to children being left alone in cars this summer and the third overall for the state of Georgia in 2016.
Safe Kids Douglas County would like to take this tragedy as a time to remind and encourages all members of the community to work together in an effort to prevent further death or injuries from heatstroke in cars. Everyone from parents, public safety personnel, daycares, to medical providers and local businesses can play a vital role in education and prevention.
In many instances, these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable. Heatstroke sets in when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough; a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than adult’s, making them more susceptible to heatstroke. When a child’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down, and when that temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.
We ask that if you see a child left alone in a vehicle, please immediately call 911. Even if the windows are cracked, this still has very little impact on the rising temperature in the vehicle and a child is still at serious risk. It takes only minutes for heatstroke to occur. Also, remember to ACT:
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your
T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
For more information on preventing child heatstroke deaths, please visit noheatstroke.org and www.safekids.org/nlyca. You can also download and print our PDF which contains more information and tips on preventing heatstroke deaths and injuries related to children in hot cars here.
Please contact us if you have any questions and be safe!