Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
TOPEKA, Kan. – Hot summer days across the country contributed to at least 23 child deaths so far this year from heat stroke when children were left unattended in vehicles. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) Safe Kids Kansas reminds caregivers to never leave children alone in cars. As a determined advocate in preventing heat stroke, Safe Kids Kansas and Safe Kids Coalitions nationwide have united to educate parents and caregivers with preventative tips to avoid these tragedies.
These horrific incidents are happening far too often, throughout the year and in nearly all 50 states. Safe Kids Coalitions across the US have worked diligently to host hundreds of “Never Leave Your Child Alone” events, which include ad campaigns, brochures, tip sheets, posters and flyers, and heavy engagement from the local community.
"As these tragedies continue to occur, Safe Kids Kansas 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 Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. “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 3 to 5 times faster than adults, this makes them much more susceptible to heat stroke.”
Although most would assume this would never happen to them, there is no common description of the caregiver that has experienced this tragedy. It has happened to the rich and poor, educated and less educated, women and men, city dwellers and suburbanites, and in all but four state, between 1998-2011. In that same time period, Kansas had eight children die in vehicles.
“Reaching parents and caregivers with ways to prevent these tragedies will no doubt help keep kids safe. These heartbreaking incidents can happen to anyone, and public education is vital to combating these preventable occurrences,” said Sage.
Nine out of ten parents report that they never leave their child alone in a car, but for the one parent that does, things can end tragically. Never leave your child alone in a car, even for a minute.
Together, we can cut down the number of deaths and near-misses by remembering to ACT.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.