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

PROMOTED VIDEO
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: Polish Speaking Buying Assistant

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Superb opportunity for a BUYING...

    Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

    £14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers personalise...

    Recruitment Genius: Key Account Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A really exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Multi Trade Operative

    £22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project