As the summer season quickly approaches, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey and Safe Kids North Carolina are reminding people of the dangers of leaving children in cars by launching a statewide summer safety campaign: "Baby, It's Hot Inside."
2018 was the worst year on record for child vehicular heatstroke deaths with 52 children dying, including a seven-month-old boy from Raleigh.
According to Safe Kids USA, nine children have died of heatstroke in vehicles in the United States so far in 2019, including one from North Carolina, a nine-month-old boy from Winston-Salem.
"We are all excited about the return of warm weather in our state, but with that also comes a very real danger of heatstroke," Commissioner Causey said. "Even the best of parents or caregivers can make the mistake of leaving a child unattended in a car even for a minute, and the end result can be more dangerous than people realize."
This year, Commissioner Causey and the Safe Kids North Carolina team is launching a campaign called "Baby, It's Hot Inside" to inform members of the media, families and school children that playing in or leaving children unattended in hot cars can be deadly.
Safe Kids North Carolina will host events across the state using a large digital thermometer that will simultaneously display the temperatures inside and outside of a parked vehicle, while Safe Kids staff members bake s'mores inside the car's interior to demonstrate how temperatures can quickly climb to dangerous levels. In addition to the s'mores, Safe Kids will serve up safety tips to prevent child heatstroke deaths.
Safety experts will be available to answer questions from the media and the public at the demonstrations:
- Wednesday, May 22, at 3 p.m. at Great Wolf Lodge, 10175 Weddington Road, Concord, N.C., 28027
- Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m. at Johnnie Mercer's Pier, 23 E. Salisbury St., Wrightsville Beach, N.C., 28480
Across the country each year, about 35 to 40 children die as a result of heat exposure in cars. Last year, the worst on record, 52 children died when they were left unattended in vehicles and were overcome by heatstroke. This record number of deaths demands the increased education of all parents and caregivers that it is never safe to leave a child unattended in a vehicle. July is the deadliest month for cases of vehicular hyperthermia in children, but the danger spreads from March through November in our area due to the subtropical North Carolina climate.
For more safety tips and information about Safe Kids North Carolina, visit https://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/SafeKids/.