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Keep Kids Safe in Summer Heat Summer weather is now upon us and temperatures are on the rise. The effects of sun exposure are many—including sunburns and heat exhaustion. But combining the intense heat of a sunny day with an enclosed environment like a locked vehicle can create much more alarming results. On days when ambient temperatures exceed 86°F, internal temperatures in vehicles can quickly reach 134°F to 154°F. And according to Safe Kids USA research, 49 children died last year of heatstroke after being left or trapped in a vehicle. That statistic is the worst since records on the subject have been kept. Safe Kids Platte Valley, part of Good Samaritan Hospital, reminds everyone that these types of tragedies are preventable, and takes part in the national “Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car” campaign. Many of the accidental deaths noted above happen when a child is left behind or forgotten by an adult. However, these tragedies can also occur when children gain access to an unattended vehicle and then are unable to get out. Because a child’s body temperature increases three to five times faster than an adult’s, and children are not able to dissipate heat as efficiently as adults, every minute counts when a child is trapped in a hot vehicle.
Safe Kids offers the following tips to prevent these types of fatalities. •Never leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle, even with a window slightly open. •If you see a small child who is unattended in a motor vehicle and in need of help, contact emergency services. •Always lock your vehicle—even at home—and keep keys out of children’s reach. •Make sure all children leave the vehicle upon arrival at a destination, and be especially careful if transporting children on a specific day or time is not part of your normal routine. Get into the habit of leaving your purse, lunch or briefcase on the floorboard in the backseat to make sure you check that seat before leaving the vehicle. •Teach children not to play in, on or around vehicles. •Watch children closely around vehicles, especially when loading and unloading. •Check vehicles and trunks FIRST if a child goes missing. For more information about keeping your children safe all year long, please contact Safe Kids Platte Valley at (308) 865-2011.
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(C) 2011, Good Samaritan Hospital/Corporate Communications