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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments 

Children in Hot Cars

For Release:  _____
Contact:         _____

As temperatures climb, it is important to keep in mind that vehicles heat up quickly.

The _____ County Health Department, Safe Kids USA, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offer the following safety tips to keep Oklahoma children safe in cars during extreme heat.

  1. Never leave any child unattended in a vehicle for any length of time, even if the windows are open. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise to over 110°F when outside temperatures are only in the mid 60s, and a child’s body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult’s body temperature.
  2. Check the back seat! Check to make sure all children are taken out of the vehicle when you reach your destination. More than 50 percent of heat-related deaths occur when a distracted caregiver forgets that a child is in the back seat.
    1. If you are transporting a child and it is not normally in your routine, set up a reminder for yourself – a phone call from a friend or spouse, a note on the vehicle dashboard, or place something you need for the day (such as a purse, briefcase, or cell phone) in the back seat so you will check the back seat and see the child before you leave the vehicle.
    2. If you are transporting children and cargo, such as groceries, take children from the vehicle first.
  3. Keep vehicle doors and trunks closed and locked. Up to one-third of heat-related deaths occur when children are playing in unlocked vehicles and become trapped inside.
    1. Keep vehicle keys out of reach and out of sight. Teach children not to play in or around vehicles.
    2. Teach children that vehicle trunks are not safe places to play or hide. Show children how to use the emergency trunk release if they become trapped inside

Additional information is available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/KeepingKidsSafe.   

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