United States records first hot car death of 2021

National News

(WWTI) — After 20 years of educating the public on the dangers of hot cars, authorities are continuing to report an upward trend of the number of children dying in cars.

On April 29, the first hot car death was confirmed for 2021 in the United States. The incident occurred in North Carolina where a 5-month old baby lost her life after being left alone in a hot car on April 25.

“After more than 20 years of public education, the number of children dying in hot cars has gotten worse, not better,” Kids and Cars Safety President Janette Fennell said. “The years 2018 and 2019 were the worst in history with a total of over 100 children that died in hot cars nationwide.”

To increase public awareness regarding these tragedies, Kids and Cars is emphasizing National Heatstroke Prevention Day, listing habits parents, guardians and family members can take to keep children safe.

The organizations stated the following:

Nobody believes that a hot car tragedy is going to happen to them or their family until it does. Kids and Car Safety is calling on the public to take action today by learning what to do if they see a child alone in a vehicle. The organization is also encouraging parents to adopt several simple habits to protect their children, even if they believe this could never happen to them.

KIDS AND CARS SAFETY

These habits include the “Look Before You Lock Safety Checklist.” The full list is featured below.

  • Never leave a child alone in a car
    • Place the child’s diaper bag or item in the front passenger seat as a visual cue the child is with you
    • Make a habit of opening the back door every time you park
    • Ask your childcare provider to call right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled
    • Announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle
  • Mark sure children cannot get into a parked car:
    • Keep vehicles locked at all times, especially in garages or driveways. Ask neighbors and visitors to do the same
    • Never leave car keys within reach of children
    • Use childproofing knob covers and door alarms to prevent children from exiting homes unnoticed
    • Teach children to honk the horn or turn on hazard lights if they become stuck inside a car
    • If a child is missing, immediately check the inside, floorboards and trunk of all vehicles

For more information, visit the Kids and Cars Safety website.

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