With that being said it is a perfect time to remind everyone why NOT to leave your children or pets unattended in a vehicle in the hot sun. Here are some facts from the Safe Kids Texas Heatstroke Task Force:
Highlighted during community events on Heat Awareness Day, May 24
In conjunction with the National Weather Service, Safe Kids Texas Heatstroke Task Force will be promoting heatstroke prevention throughout Texas with heat comparison displays and other activities on Heat Awareness Day, Friday, May 24.
Vehicle interiors can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly. In just ten minutes, a vehicle’s interior temperature can rise 19 degrees. In one to two hours it can rise 45-50 degrees.
“A car’s interior can reach deadly temperatures in minutes. Children’s small bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s, “ said Johnny Humphreys, Safe Kids Texas Heatstroke Task Force chair. “It’s just never safe to leave a child unattended in a car, not even for a minute. “
Child heat deaths in cars
A total of 560 children have died from heat in cars in the U. S. since 1988, including 84 in Texas. A total of 32 children died of heatstroke in cars in 2012, including 5 deaths in Texas. Sadly, one confirmed child heatstroke death in a car has been confirmed this year in the U. S., and heatstroke is suspected in three other child deaths under investigation, including two in Texas.
An examination of media reports about the 559 child vehicular heatstroke deaths 1998 through 2012 shows the following circumstances:
- 52% – child forgotten by caregiver
- 29% – child playing in unattended vehicle
- 18% – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult
- 1% – circumstances unknown
ACT: preventing heatstroke deaths
Together we can cut down on the number of deaths and near misses by remembering to ACT:
- Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car and trunk locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
- Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine, which often happens during summer months.
- Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to children in unattended vehicles.
Badge of Courage awards
It is against Texas law to leave a child under age seven unattended in a vehicle for longer than five minutes. Last year, the Safe Kids Texas Heatstroke Task Force presented Badge of Courage Awards to a San Marcos woman and a Lubbock woman, each of whom called 911 to report an unattended child in a vehicle. In both cases, EMS arrived quickly and the children were rescued without injury.
Safe Kids Texas Heatstroke Task Force
The Safe Kids Texas Heatstroke Task Force is composed of 166 community safety professionals throughout Texas, including law enforcement officers, nurses, health educators, doctors, county extension agents, and child advocates. During Heat Awareness Day, task force members will be conducting a variety of activities to remind us of the dangers of leaving children in cars and to promote the practice of the three preventive measures of ACT.
Also, don’t forget about our 23rd annual Summer Fan Drive!!
KXAN and Family Eldercare are teaming up once again for the 23rd Annual Summer Fan Drive. With summers in Texas reaching dangerous temperatures, the Fan Drive provides needy Central Texans with relief from the life-threatening heat.
For over 20 years, the Summer Fan Drive has been serving low-income seniors, individuals with disabilities, and families with children. Funds raised during the Fan Drive go towards the purchase of fans and air conditioners to help individuals and families beat the heat.
The community is encouraged to donate to this great cause and can help in different ways. One great way to help is by donating funds online atsummerfandrive.org. A donation of $15 will be able to help someone in need with one fan.
Fan Fare Friday, the Fan Drive’s main event, is held every year at the end of June at Threadgill’s World Headquarters. It’s a day of celebration to donate fans or funds and listen to some live music. This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, June 21st.
Fans for Fans is another great way to donate to this worthy cause. Every year, KXAN and Family Eldercare team up with the Round Rock Express for the Fans for Fans event. Express fans are encouraged to bring a fan in exchange for a pair of tickets to that night’s game. The date for this year’s event is still to be determined.
Help KXAN and Family Eldercare keep Austin cool this summer.