National Heatstroke Awareness: Park. Lock. Look.

The National Heatstroke Awareness Campaign from the United States Department of Transportation runs from July to September of this year. Perhaps you’ve seen their public service announcements for Park. Look. Lock. As personal injury lawyers, we are all too familiar with injuries to children and would like to help spread the word about what parents and caregivers can do to help minimize the risk of Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH). Keep reading for more about PVH as you take simple steps that may save a life and avoid a heartbreaking tragedy.

PVH Statistics
NoHeatStroke.org reports that since 1998, 857 children have died due to PVH (as of July 9, 2020). The lives of 53 children were lost in 2018 alone due to vehicular heatstroke, a high over the past 20 years. Sadly, these deaths were preventable, which is why it’s so important to be informed about safety recommendations concerning children and vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that “in just 10 minutes, a car can heat up by 20 degrees and become deadly.” They also note that “a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s.” When the core body temperature is around 104 degrees, heatstroke starts. The consequences are lethal at around 107 degrees.

Safety Reminders
The following safety reminders are highlighted on the NoHeatStroke.org website:

  • “Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Not even for a minute!”
  • “If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 9-1-1”
  • Check to see that all passengers have left the vehicle when unloading
  • Remember babies who may be asleep
  • Lock your vehicle and keep keys and entry devices away from children
  • Let children know vehicles are not play areas
  • “If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk.”

Other ideas shared include using a stuffed animal as a visual cue to remember your child. Putting another item out of reach such as a phone, handbag or briefcase may also be a helpful tool. They also remind parents and caregivers to adopt a “look before you leave” routine when exiting the vehicle. One more suggestion is to ask your child’s school or daycare to notify you if your child isn’t present.

Printable Visuals

NHTSA created an asset library with free printables with hangtags, window clings, stickers and more. Download life-saving visuals and display them in your vehicle. Share them with loved ones and help spread the word.

We’re Here to Help
Contact our personal injury firm if your child has been injured due to heatstroke in South Carolina. We offer a free consultation and 24-hour answering service. We have five convenient locations, with three South Carolina locations being fully staffed with full-time attorneys and experienced support staff, or we can meet you at your home or hospital, with evening and weekend appointments available. Call John Price Law Firm, LLC at 843-552-6011.

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