CANTON — Safe Kids Cherokee County, part of a nationwide coalition, is working to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of heatstroke and urging them not to leave children unattended in vehicles during the summer.
“As these tragedies continue to occur, Safe Kids Cherokee County is intensifying our efforts to get the message out that the inside of a vehicle is an extremely dangerous place for a child alone in hot weather,” said Chad Arp, coordinator of Safe Kids Cherokee County. “Even on a mild day, the inside of a car can quickly become very hot. This is a place no child should be alone, and because children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults, they are much more susceptible to heatstroke.”
According to a press release from the organization, heatstroke has led to child deaths in all but one state, and coalitions across the nation have been working to have hundreds of “Never Leave Your Child Alone” events in local communities, utilizing campaigns, brochures, tip sheets and posters.
The Safe Kids coalition said the number of child deaths can be minimized by using the “ACT” method:
• 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 children 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 cellphone 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.