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NHTSA Launches Heatstroke Awareness Campaign to Address Child Car Safety

July 7, 2020
Public safety campaign aimed at vehicular heatstroke.

Public service announcements regarding child car safety hit radio airwaves beginning July 1 as part of a new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign.

The educational PSAs are aimed at making parents aware of the dangers of keeping child vehicular heatstroke.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens commented, "The danger right now is twofold. Parents may be tempted to leave their children in the vehicle while they run errands, thinking the car is safer than a store. It’s more important than ever to remember that a hot car is no place for a child."

The $3 million campaign is part of the agency's ongoing goals to engage safety advocates "provide a unified message to educate the public about the dangers hot vehicles pose to children."

Radio ads will air across the country during summer months. The digital campaign targets 18 states with the highest number of child heatstroke fatalities: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

With warm weather on the record for the next few months, the NHTSA provided the following 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.
About the Author

Stefanie Valentic

Stefanie Valentic was formerly managing editor of EHS Today, and is currently editorial director of Waste360.

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