Parenting is one of the greatest blessings of the human experience. The sense of joy and purpose that accompanies becoming a parent is simply incomparable. At the same time though, parenting is also one of the most challenging responsibilities a person can assume. This is because parents have no choice but to be on high-alert 24/7. Kids have no one else to turn to or depend on other than their parents. When parents drop the ball on taking care of kids, pain and anguish are sure to follow. Nothing demonstrates this fact more than the tragedy of Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke deaths.
What is Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke?
Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke refers to situations whereby children are injured and killed as a result of being left unattended in hot cars. This typically happens when children sit in cars which are parked in direct sunlight. Pediatric vehicular heatstroke can especially happen easily because child-lock mechanisms in car-doors make it impossible for children to flee even though they might feel uncomfortable with rising heat. All it takes for a child to die from heatstroke under these circumstances is an absent-minded parent or caregiver.
Each Incident is One too Many
According to research conducted by the Department of Transportation, an average of 38 children die from vehicular heatstroke every year. These numbers have actually been increasing since 2016, with fatalities hitting an all-time high of 52 in 2018. 54% of kids who die from vehicular heatstroke are usually left unattended by mistake, 26% wander into cars on their own, whereas 19% are maliciously left in vehicles by criminal caregivers. No matter how much incidents of vehicular heatstroke fluctuate, this is a problem that needs to be completely eliminated from society. Here are a few tips on how to prevent deaths Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke:
- Set Visible Reminders in Your Car – Forgetfulness is actually the most prominent cause of vehicular heatstroke. S no matter how diligent you might think you are as a parent, always place reminders in the car that will prompt you to check up on your child before exiting your vehicle. For example place value such as your cellphone, wallet or purse next to the child’s car seat when you enter your vehicle. That way you’ll look for it before you leave and see your child every time you reach for said item.
- Use a Decoy Routine – When you install a car seat into your vehicle, buy a doll or stuffed animal which should be permanently stored in the car. Every time you strap your child into the car seat, move the decoy to the front seat where you can see it. Similarly every time you remove your child from their car seat, replace them with the decoy before leaving the car. This routine will unconsciously train you to keep tabs on whether your child is with you at all times.
- Keep a Close Eye on Your Kids – At the end of the day, the most direct way to prevent vehicular heatstroke is tireless supervision. Pay attention to your surroundings and be like a hawk if a different caregiver is in charge of your children’s. Never let your children play unattended in the car, keep the car keys out of their reach, and check-in frequently with whoever might be babysitting. There’s no substitute for hard-work and responsible parenting.
Remember, kids in hot cars are more helpless then it seems. Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in plans and schedules that you neglect to keep watch over children in your care. Even if a child doesn’t belong to you if you notice them sitting in a hot car unattended, be a Good Samaritan and check to see whether they’re safe and responsive. Their lives depend on good adult supervision. For more information, visit any of our offices or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654 to find out how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you be well and stay safe. We got you covered!