Five Things You Can Do July 31
By Helen Sullivan
Sixteen children have died from heatstroke in hot parked cars so far this year.* Summer isn’t nearly over.
Here’s how this tragedy happens:
- 54 percent: child forgotten by caregiver.
- 29 percent: child playing in unattended vehicle.
- 17 percent: child intentionally left in vehicle by adult.
- 1 percent: circumstances unknown.
How does your state rank in the number of deaths of children dying from heat stroke in hot parked cars?
Texas is No. 1 for heatstroke deaths, but they are doing something about it. Last year, Texas enacted a law requiring all parents of newborns to receive safety information about child vehicular heatstroke prior to being discharged from the hospital.
July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Here are some ways you can help educate people in your communities:
- Join the social media campaign and spread the word with hashtag #heatstroke.
- Distribute IPI’s Heatstroke Prevention flyer within your communities (you can add your logo to the customizable version). IPI can provide large format art files for signage.
- Reach out to your local TV stations and encourage the airing of IPI’s new heatstroke prevention 30-second PSA. Adapt IPI’s news release about the PSA for local use. Contact local media newsrooms and suggest they cover this important topic.
- Download IPI’s fact sheet to provide statistics, and this news matte is a good starting point for creating your own news release.
- Alert frontline personnel that parked cars can reach fatal temperatures within minutes, even on a 70-degree day, in the shade, with windows open! If a child is seen unattended in a car, call 911. Every minute counts.
*Unfortunately, this number grows each week. For daily updated statistics, see www.noheatstroke.org.
Note: As of this post, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was considering changing the date of the 2016 National Heatstroke Prevention Day because July 31 falls on a Sunday. If the date changes, we will let you know, but this topic is timely all summer!
Helen Sullivan is IPI’s communications counsel.