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PREVENT HOT CAR INJURIES AND DEATHS AS SUMMER TEMPERATURES SOAR

(Lawrenceville, Ga., July 21, 2017) – With the summer temperatures expected to soar, Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Safe Kids Gwinnett are reminding parents and caregivers about preventing child heatstroke injuries and deaths in hot cars.  Heatstroke is a preventable death that’s caused when the body is unable to cool itself quickly enough.  “The key theme is – knowing where your children are at all times,” said Safe Kids Gwinnett Coordinator, Bridgette Butynski.

So far this year, there have been 24 reported hot car deaths across the U.S.  Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children.   A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult.  In less than ten-minutes, the car’s interior temperature can rise as much as 20 degrees.  Temperatures can reach dangerous levels within a matter of minutes.   At a body temperature of 104 degrees, the heart rate goes up, blood flow slows down and vital organs begin to shut down.  Symptoms progress rapidly, from flushed dry skin and vomiting, to seizures, organ failure and even death.

Working together we can eliminate heatstroke injuries and deaths in hot cars and avoid near miss situations by remembering the acronym ACT.

 

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injuries and deaths in hot cars by never leaving your child alone in the vehicle, not even for a minute.  Be sure to keep car doors closed and locked when you’re not in the vehicle, so kids don’t enter on their own. 

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, purse or cell phone that’s needed at your final destination.  This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

T: Take action.  If you see a child alone in a car, call 9-1-1.  Emergency personnel want you to call.  They are trained to respond to these situations.  One call could save a child’s life.

For additional information on preventing child heatstroke emergencies, please visit the Safe Kids Worldwide website at www.safekids.org. You may also contact the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction Division at 678.518.4845 or e-mail fireprograms@gwinnettcounty.com  


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