Children are often victims of hot car fatalities every year, but new technology may help prevent these tragic accidents. Unlike adults, children are unable to regulate their temperature, which means their bodies can heat up three to five times the rate of adults, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, recent technological developments may help remind parents when they leave children or pets behind in a warm vehicle.
New Developments May Help Reduce Hot Car Deaths
Hot car fatalities have become a serious problem in the U.S., accounting for the deaths of 24 children in 2020, according to data from Kidsandcars.org. With the introduction of new in-car radar systems, these accidents may see a significant reduction.
Recently, federal regulators approved the installation of new radar systems that would be able to detect the presence of children or pets in vehicles, alerting the driver before the vehicle has the chance to heat up. While this technology could help ensure that parents and pet owners check their vehicles before leaving, this technology has a long way to go before it’s implemented in every vehicle.
At this time, certain cars feature systems that remind drivers to check for pets and children, they don’t take into account every potential situation. This is why parents should still take steps to prevent these types of accidents from occurring.
How Parents and Caregivers Can Prevent Hot Car Fatalities
In preventing hot car deaths, both parents and caregivers can take the following steps:
1. Never Leave Children in a Vehicle Alone
It’s important for parents and caregivers to bring children with them if they are going to leave a vehicle unattended. Even if the windows of the vehicle are open and the air conditioning is running, heatstroke could still occur.
2. Always Remember to Check the Vehicle
It’s also necessary to look in the front and backseats before leaving the vehicle. A good practice is to make it a habit to park, look, and then lock the car.
3. Place an Item in the Vehicle That Serves as a Reminder
Placing a purse or other item in the backseat can help parents and caregivers remember to check it before exiting the vehicle. Additionally, placing a certain object or note in the passenger’s seat could also be an effective reminder that a child or pet is in the back.
4. Ask Childcare Providers to Call if a Child Isn’t Present
Parents can request childcare providers to call them immediately if they notice that the child isn’t present at the care facility.
5. Secure the Vehicle
Parents should lock their car doors and trunk to prevent children from getting into the vehicle alone.
Additionally, if anyone sees a child alone in a vehicle, it’s important to let them out as quickly as possible and contact emergency services by dialing 911.
Keeping Children Safe from Heatstroke
Until the new technology is available to remind drivers to check their vehicles, people will need to do what they can to avoid keeping children and pets in locked vehicles and keep an eye out for children in other parked vehicles. Being vigilant and fast-acting can help save lives.