As summer temperatures continue to climb across the country, it’s important to remember that while these summer days are great for the pool and the beach, they’re not so good for the inside of cars, which can raise to deadly temperatures in a very short period of time.
Sadly, since 1998, at least 910 children across the United States have died from heatstroke.
I hope my story encourages parents to always buckle up their kids regardless of the situation. You don’t want to feel the pain or grief I am going through. The sadness is overwhelming, even after a year.
So no more guessing about recalls. We all have other things to worry about. No fuss, no muss. Complete and mail the registration card – it’s a small, but important step in making sure your child is riding as safely as possible.
Heatstroke is a condition that occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Children are at great risk for heatstroke because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When the internal body temperature reaches 104 degrees, children’s organs start to shut down. And when it reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.
Having that technical training changed my life. I know more about car seats and continue to learn every day. That knowledge makes me comfortable talking to parents about car sear safety, which is so important.
One of my favorite parts of my job is talking with the EMTs, nurses, doctors, and other public health professionals who have recently become Child Passenger Safety Technicians. Their faces light up when they describe the feeling of wearing the CPST “hat” and working with colleagues and families in their communities. They appreciate the value of spending a little extra time assisting families to make sure car seats are used and installed correctly and that everyone is buckled up, every ride every time.
It is a great honor that two of our PSAs, “Moment of Silence” and “Bubble Wrap,” won 2014 Telly Awards, one of the premier awards honoring the finest in film and video production. We are thrilled to be recognized at this level, because it helps bring more attention to the issue of child injury prevention.
Both videos were created by Safe Kids’ video director Kris Hixson, whose vision helped make each project a success.
Our new study helps answer some of the questions parents have about when to switch from a booster seat to just a seat belt. We surveyed 1,000 parents of children ages 4 to 10 and found that an alarming number of parents are allowing kids to use a seat belt alone before they are big enough. In fact, 7 in 10 parents do not know that a child should be at least 57 inches (4’9”) to ride in a car without a booster seat.
I’m a state trooper, a certified child passenger safety technician and a father of four kids under the age of 11, so I understand the importance of safety seats. I’ll never forget the day in March 2014, when I saw for myself just how important they are. I was volunteering at a car seat inspection at the Fabius-Park Township fire department, just outside of Three Rivers, Mich. The forecast that day was for rain and snow. Ice had already started covering the roads.
We were delighted recently when our partners at Safe Kids China asked us to visit and conduct a child passenger safety certification course in Shanghai. Our goal was to teach and certify health and safety professionals in Shanghai about the benefits of using child safety restraints in the car.
Only an estimated 2-3 percent of the population in China have or use car seats. But things are starting to change. A newly passed law will go into effect soon in Shanghai that will require children under 4 to ride in car seats. This is huge step in the right direction.