BOONE — While the area is in the midst of the summer season, the Boone Fire Department is requesting that community members help to reduce deaths of children and pets in vehicles from heatstroke.

According to Boone Fire, a child dies on average from heatstroke in a vehicle every 10 days. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car. The department stated that the temperature inside a vehicle can rise as much as 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Cracking a window doesn’t help the temperature inside the vehicle, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Young children are at higher risk of heatstroke because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, according to Boone Fire. The department advised that heatstroke in vehicles can also occur on cooler days.

“Children can be so peaceful and quiet that we forget they are in the car,” stated Boone Fire. “It can be tempting to not wake a child for a quick trip into the store. Other times children play in unlocked cars becoming trapped inside and overcome by the heat.”

To prevent deaths from heatstroke, Boone Fire urges community members to “remember to ACT.”

  • Avoid heatstroke related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Community members should be sure to keep a vehicle locked while not inside the vehicle so kids don’t get in on their own.
  • Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in the child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when a child is in the back seat. Community members could also place and secure their phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with a child.
  • Take action. If a community member sees a child or pet alone in a car, call 911.

“Emergency personnel want you to call,” Boone Police stated. “We are trained to respond to these situations.”

For more information, contact Boone Fire or visit Safe Kids Worldwide at www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/heatstroke.

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