Child heat stroke deaths from being left in vehicle reach 500

June 7, 2011

Washington – On May 31, a 3-year-old boy from New Orleans became the 500th child to succumb to heat stroke after being left alone in a motor vehicle, according to Safe Kids USA. The number of children to die in this manner averages 38 per year and is trending upward, the organization said.

Safe Kids USA and partners launched the Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car campaign earlier this year. Educational efforts focus on the following tips:

  • Lock cars and trucks. Approximately 30 percent of heat stroke deaths occur when children are playing in unattended vehicles.
  • Create reminders to prevent leaving the vehicle without your child:
    • Place a cell phone, purse or something that is needed at your next stop on the floor in front of the child in the backseat.
    • Set the alarm on your cell phone as a reminder to drop your child off at day care.
    • Create a system with your day care provider in which you will be called if your child is not dropped off.
  • Dial 911 immediately if you see a child unattended in a car.
  • If a child is missing, check vehicles and trunks first.