Statement from the NSC on National Heatstroke Awareness Day

Look before you lock when exiting a vehicle to make sure you haven't left a young one behind.

July 31, 2018

Itasca –In observance of National Heatstroke Awareness Day July 31 – and with temperatures breaking records across the nation this summer – the National Safety Council is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in calling on parents and caregivers to “look before they lock.” In addition, the Council is urging legislators to enact laws that address children being left in hot vehicles.

At least 29 children have died this year after being left in a hot car. Parents and caregivers are being asked to check their back seat, or “look before they lock,” when exiting a vehicle to ensure they have not left a young one behind. Only 21 states have laws in place to address children being left unattended in vehicles, and the Council’s recently released Kids in Hot Cars report calls for stronger laws to protect children from being knowingly left unattended in a car for any amount of time. The report also provides helpful tips for parents and caregivers, such as placing an item they will need at their destination in the back seat, and it also provides information about the role of technology in addressing this preventable cause of death.

All drivers should always lock their vehicle so children cannot gain access, and they should educate other caregivers that there are no safe time periods to leave children unattended in a car. Pediatric vehicular heatstroke can happen any time of year, in any state, and to any parent or caregiver, as temperatures inside a parked car become dangerously hot very quickly, even on cool weather days. Education, technology and stronger laws can go a long way in eliminating these preventable deaths.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

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