In 2016, thirty-nine children under the age of 6 died in the United States due to hyperthermia after being left in a car alone. Hyperthermia occurs when the body temperature of child reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit. In only 10 minutes, the interior temperature of a parked car can rise as much as 20 degrees, even more when parked on hot asphalt. Symptoms of hyperthermia include fainting, nausea, vomiting, dry skin, headache, seizures, becoming unconscious, muscle cramps, weakness, confusion, fever, coma and death.
What can you do? NEVER leave your child or your pet alone in a car. If you are going somewhere that does not allow pets, LEAVE YOUR PET AT HOME.
Prevent Child Abuse Gaston partnered with Safe Kids Gaston and the Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services in developing rack cards to raise awareness about this problem. The ACT points developed by Safe Kids are as follows:
Avoid heat stroke-related injury and death by:
- Never leaving your child alone in the car, even for a minute.
- Consistently locking unattended vehicle doors and trunks.
- Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting all other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times.
- Place a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cell phone or an item that is needed at your next stop in the back seat beside your child or in the floor of the car.
- Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at daycare.
- Dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions that emergency personnel provides – they are trained to determine if a child is in danger.
Our rack cards are printed in English. They were sponsored and endorsed by the Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services in 2014, using TANF funds for their printing. They have been distributed across the county for three years. They are available to anyone in Gaston County for free. Anyone outside the county can purchase them on our website for $12.00/100 cards + shipping.