Never leave a child or a pet in a hot car

Every summer, first responders are called to treat a child who has been left in a hot car. Too often, these calls end in tragedy.

In 2018, 52 children nationwide died in hot cars. It was the deadliest year on record in the past 20 years. Since 1998, almost 800 children have died from vehicular heatstroke; 24 percent occurred in employer parking lots while the parent or caregiver was at work.

MedStar offered these tips as temperatures are expected to rise in the coming days:

  • Never leave children or pets unattended in cars.
  • Be sure vehicles are secured to prevent a curious child from becoming trapped in the car on a hot day.
  • If you find a child or pet unattended in a hot car, alert authorities immediately and, if necessary, be prepared to take action based on instructions from the 911 call taker.

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.


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