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Park. Look. Lock. $3 Million Public Safety Campaign to Keep Children from Suffering Heat Stroke in Hot Cars | Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys Whittel & Melton

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the launch of a $3 million public safety campaign at the start of July to educate the entire U.S. about the dangers of leaving children locked in hot vehicles.  

The summer months can be sweltering, so the campaign serves as a reminder to motorists that children should never be left unattended in vehicles and cars should be kept locked so that no child can accidentally get into a car. 

Public service announcements have been running reminding parents and caregivers to be alert and Park. Look. Lock. 

Radio ads have been airing across the U.S. since July 1, and a digital campaign was implemented to target the 18 states that have the highest numbers of child deaths from heatstroke, which includes Florida. The other states are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia. 

Dealing with a global pandemic and keeping children safe is definitely a strain on every parent and caregiver at this time. Parents may think that leaving their kids in the car while they run errands is safer than towing them along inside stores. Perhaps now more than ever, it is vital to remember that it is never a good idea to leave children locked inside a hot car for any amount of time. 

The truth is that these tragedies are entirely preventable. Even the best parents can have a momentary lapse of judgement and forget they have a sleeping baby in the car or fail to notice a toddler climbing inside an unattended vehicle. We can all do our part to keep children safe and prevent these terrible tragedies from occurring. The following heatstroke prevention tips could save lives: 

  • Keep your car locked at all times once you park it. This will prevent children from being able to climb in and get trapped without anyone knowing. 
  • Make sure you teach your children, as well as any children left in your care, that cars are not places to play. 
  • If you are out running errands, do not leave your children locked inside the car for even a minute. 
  • Heatstroke can happen in cars that are parked in the shade or even in vehicles where the windows are rolled down. Cracking a window doesn’t do very much to keep a car cool. 
  • If you are a bystander and see a child alone in a car, you should call 911 right away and get help. 

The Statistics of Child Deaths from Heatstroke in the U.S. 

According to KidsAndCars.org, so far in 2020, there have already been 14 children killed because they suffered heat stroke inside a hot car. In 2019, there were 53 child deaths. In 2018, there were 54 child deaths. In 2017, there were 43 child deaths. This breaks down to about one child death every 9 days. 

There are numerous studies that have been conducted that demonstrate how the inside of a car can reach a sweltering temperature of 100 in roughly 10 minutes on a day that is 73 degrees. When the temperature outside reaches 90, the interior of a car can quickly climb to 160 degrees in just 10 minutes. 

The reality is that heatstroke in children left inside a hot vehicle is a growing problem. We can all do our part and take a few extra minutes to make sure we do our part every single day to keep these accidental deaths from occurring. Before you exit your vehicle, look around and make sure you have all precious cargo accounted for. Lock your car after it is parked so that no children can access the vehicle. Park. Look. Lock. 

If you have any questions about child heatstroke deaths or filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, our Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here for you 24/7. You can contact us online or call us at 866-608-5529 for a free consultation to get the answers you need. 

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