As the summer enters its final weeks, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Bristol Myers-Squibb Children’s Hospital and the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders have launched a county-wide campaign to raise awareness of the danger of leaving children in hot cars.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, since 1998, more than 550 children across the U.S. have died after being left alone in hot cars, where quickly rising temperatures resulted in heatstroke.
Over the coming weeks, a car will be parked in various spots around Middlesex County, equipped with a thermometer displaying the temperature inside and outside the vehicle.
According to Safe Kids, the temperature within a car can increase 19 degrees over 10 minutes. On Thursday, Aug. 14, after being parked in the sun for 15 minutes, the thermometer monitoring the inside of the car went from 77 degrees to 95 degrees.
The campaign asks for residents to A.C.T.:
- Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, and to keep cars locked so that children cannot get in unattended.
- Create reminders by putting something in the back seat of a car near the child, like a briefcase, purse or cell phone, to serve as a reminder to look in the back seat upon reaching a destination.
- Take action by calling 9-1-1 if a child is found alone in a car. First responders are trained to respond to these situations, and one call could safe a child’s life.