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COMMUNITY AMBULANCE: Summer safety tips for parents

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Nationally, on average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car, and the end result can be injury or even death. Two-thirds of the increase in temperature in a car happens in the first 20 minutes.

Paramedic Melanie Bangle of Community Ambulance discusses what you should do to keep your children safe this summer.

According to KidsAndCars.org:

  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2017: 12
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2016: 39
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2015: 25
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2014: 32
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2013: 44
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2012: 35
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2011: 33
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2010: 49
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths 1990- 2016: 793
  • Average #of deaths per year since 1998: 37 (one every 9 days)
  • Highest # of fatalities for a one-year time period – 2010: 49

Safety tips to keep kids safe:

"Look Before You Lock" ? Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the backseat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind. Create a reminder to check the back seat -- one idea is to put a large stuffed animal in your child's car seat. When you put your child in their seat, put it in the front seat so you'll always see it when you exit your vehicle.

If you see a child locked in a hot car, take action:

Don’t wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return. If the child is not responsive or is in distress, immediately call 911. Get the child out of the car and spray the child with cool water (not in an ice bath).

If the child is responsive, stay with the child until help arrives, and have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.

Warning Signs of Heatstroke

  • Red, hot, and moist or dry skin
  • No sweating
  • Strong, rapid pulse or slow, weak pulse
  • Nausea
  • Confusion or strange behavior

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