U.S. Department of Transportation launches public safety campaign to prevent hot-car deaths

U.S. Department of Transportation campaign aims to prevent child deaths in hot cars.
U.S. Department of Transportation campaign aims to prevent child deaths in hot cars.(mgn)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 4:40 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -In line with Wednesday (July 1) being National Heatstroke Awareness Day, the U.S. Department of Transportation launches a $3 million public safety campaign to prevent child deaths in hot cars.

Wednesday’s announcement from the transportation department is part of its “ongoing work to engage with safety advocates and provide a unified message to educate the public about the dangers hot vehicles pose to children.”

“As we enter the hot summer months, the Department is launching a $3 million information campaign to remind drivers to never leave children unattended in cars and to lock their cars to prevent neighborhood children from entering the heated car,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

With the public safety campaign’s launch comes public service announcements that will run all summer, reminding parents and caregivers always to Park, Look, Lock.

As of June 26 data shows that since 1998, 855 children have died due to pediatric vehicular heatstroke. This includes six child heatstroke deaths so far in 2020, 52 last year, and 53 in 2018.

“The danger right now is twofold. Parents may be tempted to leave their children in the vehicle while they run errands, thinking the car is safer than a store. It’s more important than ever to remember that a hot car is no place for a child,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator James Owens said.

Heatstroke Prevention Tips:

  • Keep vehicles locked at all times when parked to prevent a child from climbing in and becoming trapped.
  • Teach children that vehicles are not a place to play.
  • Never leave a child in a vehicle when running errands, not even for a minute.
  • Rolling down a window does little to keep a vehicle cool, and heatstroke deaths have occurred even in vehicles parked in shaded areas.
  • Bystanders can also play an important role in saving a life – if you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 and get help immediately.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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