Automakers, safety advocates and moms are taking to the airwaves and online with an educational campaign aimed at saving children’s lives. Sadly, an average of 37 young lives are lost each year from heatstroke due to being unattended in cars. More than half of these victims were under a year old and 75 percent were under two years old.
So far this year there have been a total of 9 childhood fatalities. Even on a 70-degree day, a vehicle’s interior temperature can exceed 100 degrees in mere minutes.
To help raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke in automobiles, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Auto Alliance) is stepping up efforts to educate the public about ways to prevent a potential tragedy. The campaign, which launches in June and will continue past Heatstroke Awareness Day on July 31, reinforces the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Look Before You Lock: Never Leave A Child Alone in a Car” outreach effort.
“We want to make sure that people understand that regardless of the temperature outside, it is never safe to leave a child alone in a car,” said Mitch Bainwol, President & CEO of the Auto Alliance. “Heatstroke fatalities can be avoided. Parents and caregivers need to be especially mindful to always check their back seats,” he added.
The campaign will include radio spots targeting high-risk areas and feature safety advocates lending their voice on the importance of public education to prevent heatstroke deaths. In addition, there will be extensive social media efforts, including Facebook and YouTube, and an online network of “mommy bloggers” to help to spread awareness to parents and caregivers.
“Temperatures in a car’s interior can skyrocket in a matter of minutes, and young children are particularly at risk because their bodies can heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults” said Stacy
DeBroff, founder of Mom Central. “I’m pleased to be working with the Auto Alliance to make more parents aware of this vital information and the danger it can pose.”
Aligning with NHTSA and Safe Kids Worldwide, a leading global safety advocacy organization, the campaign will encourage the public to ACT with the following suggestions:
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 and the keys in a safe place to ensure kids don’t get in on their own.
Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
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.
For more information about heatstroke prevention, and to help spread awareness, visit http://www.autoalliance.org/heatstroke.
The leading advocacy group for the auto industry, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers represents more than 70 percent of all car and light truck sales in the United States, including the BMW Group, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of America, and Volvo Car USA.