To mark National Heatstroke Prevention Day, drivers have been reminded to always check the back seat when walking away from their vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the advice this week as warmer temperatures set in across the country, and also urged the public to stay alert and call 911 if they see a child alone in a hot car.
âEvery year, 38 children lose their lives in hot cars, and these are tragedies that can be prevented,â said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman.
âBy never leaving a child alone in a car to checking the backseat before getting out of the vehicle, we are asking all Americans to understand the risks posed by hot cars and do their part to keep children safe.â
The NHTSA has warned that hot car deaths can happen in vehicles parked in shaded areas in temperatures as low as 57 degrees, even with the windows cracked.
Heat can have devastating effects on a childâs body, as childrenâs bodies warm five times faster than adult bodies, the organization said.
The NHTSA has issued the following advice to keep children safe:
- Never leave your child alone in a car, even if you think youâll only be gone for a minute.
- When youâre driving with your child, remember to always look before you leave your vehicle to make sure your child has been dropped off at daycare or with a caregiver, not left behind in the car seat.
- Keep an item in the back seat, like a teddy bear. Put the bear up front with you when your child is in the car seat to serve as a reminder.
- Or, put your purse or phone in the back seat with the child.
- If you see a child in distress in a vehicle â ACT. Call 911 immediately and get help.