Last updated: June 25. 2014 1:41PM - 79 Views

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The Delaware General Health District’s (DGHD) Safe Kids Coalition wants parents and caregivers to know the risk of leaving a child unattended in a hot car after five heatstroke deaths have already occurred in the United States this year.

“These tragedies are absolutely heartbreaking, and a reminder for all of us to be aware of the dangers of leaving a child alone in a car,” said Jackie Bain, DGHD safety coordinator. “Many people are shocked to learn how hot the inside of a car can actually get. This is why we are asking everyone to help protect kids from this preventable tragedy by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Bystanders can also help by calling 911 if they see a child alone in a car.”

Bain added that is does not have to be in the middle of the summer for a child to get overheated. Even with seemingly mild temperatures outside, the temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s making them more susceptible to heatstroke.”

The Health District along with Safe Kids Worldwide recommend parents and caregivers remember to ACT to save lives:

* A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids do not get in on their own.

* C: Create reminders by putting something on the backseat of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is 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 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Heatstroke deaths stemming from a child being left alone in a hot car are 100 percent preventable. The Health District asks everyone — community members, parents and caregivers — to ACT and never leave your child alone in a car, not even once.

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