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The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.
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In 2018, 53 children died in hot cars. It was the deadliest year on record in the past 20 years. Since 1998, more than 800 children have died from vehicular heatstroke; 24% occurred in employer parking lots while the parent or caregiver was at work. Parents and caregivers can act immediately to end these preventable deaths.
Educate yourself and everyone you know about this danger. The National Safety Council offers a free online course about the danger of vehicular heatstroke in children, the three primary circumstances that have led to children dying and what we all can do to prevent these deaths. One child is too many.
Complete and share this training now. It is also available in Spanish. A certificate of completion is provided at the end of the training.
Circumstances resulting in pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths (1998-2018). Source: NoHeatStroke.org.
Even on mild or cloudy days, temperatures inside vehicles can reach life-threatening levels. Leaving windows slightly open doesn't help. Children should never be left unattended or be able to get inside a vehicle.
Three primary circumstances resulting in deaths of children in hot cars are:
NSC advises parents and caregivers to stick to a routine and avoid distractions to reduce the risk of forgetting a child. Place a purse, briefcase or even a left shoe in the back seat to force you to take one last look before walking away. Keep car doors locked so children cannot gain access, and teach them that cars are not play areas. There is no safe time to leave a child in a vehicle, even if you are just running a quick errand.
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In 2018, NSC released a groundbreaking report on pediatric vehicular heatstroke (PVH) titled, Kids in Hot Cars; a Legislative Look Across the U.S.
In an effort to better understand and document this risk, NSC works with partner experts, including Jan Null, a certified consulting meteorologist and adjunct professor at San Jose State University. Mr. Null has been tracking child deaths resulting from vehicular heatstroke since 1998, and his work provides the basis for data and information in this report.
The objectives of the report are to:
The report also features a first-hand account of a father who lost his beloved daughter.
As of the end of 2018, an average of 38 children die needlessly this way every year, and it can happen to anyone. Please read and share this life-saving information.
NSC supports efforts to use technology to prevent children from being forgotten in vehicles. Without offering an endorsement of any vehicle or product, NSC provides the following information as examples to help parents and guardians protect their most precious passengers:
Hold On to Dear Life is a campaign of Primary Children's Hospital.
Learn about one father's experience and what he is doing to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving kids in hot cars. Then, test yourself. Take the SaferCar.gov quiz: How Much Do You Know About Preventing Child Heatstroke?
The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Donate to our cause.
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