How to avoid a summer tragedy in a hot car

General Motors has appealed to drivers to be aware of the temperature inside their vehicles after hyperthermia killed seven children in the US last week.

The vehicle manufacturer, one of the world's largest, joined forces with Safe Kids USA to issue guidelines and warn drivers that leaving unattended children in cars during the summer is deadly.

In the seven days from June 13-20, seven children were killed after being left in a hot car, taking the total number of US child deaths in vehicles due to heat this year to 17.

The majority of deaths (51 percent) are caused by children accidentally being left behind, with a further 30 percent being caused by children finding their way into a vehicle and being unable to escape and 18 percent caused by parents knowingly leaving their children unattended.

In many states in the US, it is illegal to leave a child in a vehicle unattended.

Hot cars are equally deadly for animals, with dogs left by owners at particular risk.

UK-based animal protection agency the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) estimates that even on a relatively cool day when the outside temperature may only be 22°C/72°F outside, sunshine causes the  temperature inside a car to soar to 47°C/117°F within 60 minutes.

GM says that it has looked at a range of technologies to alert parents, but that it is convinced that the issue is best addressed by education and awareness.

The dark dashboards, seats and steering wheels in vehicles are warmed by the sun and regularly reach temperatures of 82°C/180°F to 93°C/200°F,  heating the air around them and rapidly turning the car into an oven, even if windows are left open.

Tips for avoiding a summer tragedy
Tip from General Motors, Safe Kids USA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Kennel Club.

  • Call the emergency services if you see a child or an animal left unattended in a vehicle
  • Also tell nearby store owners or someone in a position of authority who may be able to help
  • Never leave a child or animal alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute
  • Set a reminder to drop children off at daycare
  • For animals, check that the destination is pet friendly so a dog doesn't have to be left alone
  • Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or whatever is to be carried from the car on the floor in front of the child in a back seat.  This forces the adult to open the back door and observe the child before leaving.
  • Check cars and trunks first if a child or animal goes missing


http://www.gm.com
http://www.safekids.org/
http://www.rspca.org.uk
http://www.akc.org

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living