July 31, 2014

Safe Kids, Smart Parents

Doyle,-Rondi-NEW-colorBy Rondi Doyle
Director of Community Relations
Child Abuse Council

Each summer, we hear tragic reports of children dying from overheated temperatures after being left in a vehicle unattended. It is critical for parents of young children not to underestimate the dangers involved.

Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT:

A: 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 locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.

C: 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.

T: 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 these situations. One call could save a life.

Go a Step Further: Create Extra Reminders and Communicate with Daycare:

• Create a calendar reminder for your electronic devices to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare.

• Develop a plan with your daycare so that if your child is late, you’ll be called within a few minutes. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at daycare.

Teach Kids Not to Play in Cars:

• Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you’re not using it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.

• Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play. If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks.

• If your children are locked in a car, get them out as quickly as possible and dial 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.
Source: www.safekids.org

For more information about the Child Abuse Council’s prevention, education and treatment programs, you can visit us at www.childabuseqc.org or contact me at rondid@childabuseqc.org.