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In the past two years, more than 100 children have died of pediatric vehicular heatstroke in hot cars. In other words, 100 children have died inside a hot car.
It’s a tragedy that can unfortunately happen to anyone.
Injury prevention experts say pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths most commonly happen when families are out of their normal routine, which is a reality for almost everyone right now with children home from school, many parents working from home, and limited childcare.
This leaves parents and caregivers trying to decide what’s safest for their kids when there’s limited childcare—should you take them inside the store with you and possibly expose them to COVID-19? Or should you just leave them in the car?
The Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s says to always avoid leaving your child in the car. This is why:
According to KidsAndCars.org, in the first seven months of 2020, 14 children across the United States have died in hot cars.
That number is down significantly from the record-setting years of 2018 and 2019, but still alarming.
In the past, a lot of pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths were completely accidental and happened as the result of parents leaving their children in the car for too long. In several cases, parents forgot to drop their child off at daycare on the way to work.
But with COVID-19 and people working from home, that risk has been reduced.
This year, nearly half of the children that have died of vehicular heatstroke across the United States died after getting trapped inside a hot car.
The assumption is that vehicles are more likely to be parked at home, often unlocked, rather than driven to an office. That’s why it’s so important we make sure we’re keeping our vehicles locked when at home and that we keep our keys out of children’s reach.
Here are some other helpful tips to keep your children safe: