NHTSA seeks to prevent child deaths in hot vehicles

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on July 26 hosted a roundtable meeting to discuss strategies for preventing hyperthermia deaths among children who are left in hot motor vehicles.

According to the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences, 49 children younger than 14 died in such cases in 2010 and an additional 21 deaths have been reported so far in 2011. NHTSA data indicates that hyperthermia is the leading cause of non-crash motor vehicle deaths among children in this age group.

“We know hyperthermia is a serious threat that needs to be better addressed immediately,” said David Strickland, NHTSA administrator. “A coordinated, targeted approach to increase public awareness of this very serious safety danger should help prevent unnecessary tragedies and near misses moving forward.”

The roundtable group included representatives from the automobile industry, car seat manufacturers, researchers, consumer groups, family members of victims, and health and safety advocates.

NHTSA said it plans to host a series of activities in the coming weeks and months to engage parents, caregivers, law enforcement and advocacy groups in discussions on the best ways to raise awareness of the risks and prevent hyperthermia deaths.

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