A new campaign to prevent deaths of kids in hot cars: Park. Look. Lock.

Updated: July 02, 2020 06:52 PM

Every year, we hear about children dying in hot cars. No one ever thinks it's going to happen to them. 


There have been six deaths so far in 2020. And now, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a new public safety awareness campaign to prevent any more tragedies. It's focused on these words: Park. Look. Lock.

Elaine Chao, the secretary of the DOT, said, "It's important for the public to understand that even if they don't have a child of their own, neighborhood children can climb into an unlocked vehicle during the hot summer months, with tragic consequences."

In fact, that's how about 30% of the cases started out, with an unattended vehicle, according to data that tracks from the past two decades.

A majority of the cases involve a caregiver who forgot the child was in the car.

Authorities stress it's never safe to leave kids alone in the car, even for a moment. 

The shade may seem like it would be safer, but authorities say that's not true. In fact, there have been some heatstroke deaths inside a car parked in the shade, with temperatures less than 80 degrees.

Between Minnesota and Wisconsin, there have been 14 child heatstroke deaths in vehicles in the past 20 years.

Important Heatstroke Prevention Tips:

•    Keep vehicles locked at all times when parked to prevent a child climbing in and becoming trapped.
•    Teach children that vehicles are not a place to play. 
•    Never leave a child in a vehicle when running errands, not even for a minute. 
•    Rolling down a window does little to keep a vehicle cool, and heatstroke deaths have occurred even in vehicles parked in shaded areas.
•    Bystanders can also play an important role in saving a life – if you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 and get help immediately.

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