York County group reminds parents of danger in leaving children in cars on hot summer days

adouglas@heraldonline.comJuly 11, 2013 

Safe Kids York County is reminding parents that summer days create dangerous conditions for children left alone inside cars.

Last year, 20 children across the nation died from heatstroke while left unattended in a vehicle, according to the group’s news release sent Thursday morning.

“As these tragedies continue to occur, Safe Kids York County is intensifying our efforts to get the message out that the inside of a vehicle is an extremely dangerous place for a child alone in hot weather,” said paramedic Robert White in the release.

Safe Kids York County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide. The local group is comprised of volunteers from the Rock Hill Police Department, Rock Hill school district, Piedmont Medical Center Emergency Services and others.

Leaving children alone for any length of time in a hot vehicle can lead to a heatstroke-related injury, according to the group’s news release.

“Even on a mild day, the inside of a car can quickly become very hot,” White said. “This is a place no child should be alone. And, because children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults’, they are much more susceptible to heatstroke.”

Parents should create reminders, the group says, to not leave children in their cars. Leaving an item such as a cellphone, purse or briefcase in the back seat near a child can serve as a reminder to take kids with you when you exit a car.

If someone sees a child left behind in a car, the group recommends calling 911 for emergency assistance.

“Heatstroke can happen any time , anywhere,” White said. “We don’t want to see this happen to any family. That’s why Safe Kids is asking everyone to help protect kids from this very preventable tragedy by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.”

For information on preventing child heatstroke deaths, visit www.ggweather.com/heat and www.safekids.org/heatstroke.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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