Do what it takes to make children’s safety a priority

May 30, 2014 Editorials Print Print
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Each year, numerous children die in or around cars from preventable accidents — being trapped in a hot vehicle, backovers and power window mishaps.

An average of 38 children die each year from heatstroke after being left or trapped in cars. A joint study by the National SAFE Kids Campaign and General Motors found that the inside temperature of a car can reach 120 degrees within 30 minutes, with the outside air being just 70 degrees.

Lisa Pardi, Summit County’s SAFE Kids coordinator, said, “young children, the elderly and pets are vulnerable because their bodies are ill-equipped to fight off the heat and resulting dehydration.”

Thousands of children also are killed or seriously injured each year because a driver backing up didn’t see them.

The incident typically takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space.

Power windows in vehicles also have killed or injured thousands of children. It takes just 22 pounds of force to suffocate or injure an infant. Power windows can exert an upward force of 30 to 80 pounds.

According to the website www.kidsandcars.org:

• Children should never be left alone in a vehicle, not even to run a quick errand.

• Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in the garage and driveway.

• Keys should never be left within the reach or sight of children.

• Teach children never to play in or around a vehicle.

• Check that all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked, including sleeping infants. Bottom line: Make your child’s safety a priority.

Never leave a child alone in a car for even one second.

Know where your child is at all times.

When your child is in a vehicle, make sure he or she is safely buckled in and away from power window controls.

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