Display Highlights Heatstroke Risks for Children Left in Hot Cars

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– As temperatures soar, San Bernardino County Children’s Network is raising awareness about the dangers of leaving children in vehicles. July 26-28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a large digital thermometer will measure temperatures inside and outside of a car on display in front of the Children’s Network’s San Bernardino office. The display is part of the County’s continuing efforts to prevent children from being left alone inside of hot vehicles. Children’s Network staff is available to speak to the media about the display and ways to keep children safe.

“As outside temperatures rise, the risks of children dying from being left alone inside hot vehicles also rise,” said Network Officer Kathy Turnbull. “These deaths can be prevented and it is our hope that we can continue to raise awareness about the simple steps that can be taken to save children’s lives.”

Nationwide, in 2016, there have been 23 heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles. Last year there were 24 deaths—including one child in Pomona. Children’s temperatures can rise up to five times faster than adult temperatures. Heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees, according to Turnbull. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach deadly levels in minutes.

According to the Children’s Network, one should never leave a child in a vehicle unattended, always look in the back seat every time one exits a vehicle and always lock a vehicle car and put the keys out of a child’s reach. When one sees a child alone in a hot vehicle, it is important to ensure the child is okay and responsive (if a child is not okay, one should, call 911 immediately). An effort should be made to locate the parents, such as having the facility’s security or management page the car owner over the PA system. If the child is not responsive and appears in great distress, one should attempt to get into the car to assist the child, even if that means breaking a window.

The Children’s Network of San Bernardino County works to improve the quality of life for children at risk who, because of behavior, abuse, neglect, medical needs, educational assessment, and/or detrimental daily living situations are eligible for services from one or more of the member agencies of the Children’s Policy Council.

Children’s Network is doing its part to help the community achieve the Countywide Vision by ensuring residents have the resources they need to provide the necessities of life to their families. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.

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