Dangers of children left in hot cars

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MARQUETTE COUNTY — Since 1998, nearly 800 children have died from vehicular heatstroke. 10 of those deaths were in Michigan.

Last year in the United States, 51 children died in vehicles, a 19-percent increase from 2017. Heatstroke is the leading cause of vehicular non-crash related deaths for children under 14.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says children die alone in a vehicle for several reasons: 54 percent were forgotten by a caregiver; about 26 percent of children got into unattended vehicles and couldn’t get out, and 18 percent were intentionally left by an adult.

Use the A-C-T or ‘ACT’ method to keep kids safe:

  • A is for AVOID IT: never leave children alone in a car, even for a few minutes. Keep doors and trunk locked so kids can’t sneak inside!
  • C is to ‘CREATE REMINDERS’ so you don’t leave a child in a car when you get to your destination.
  • T is for ‘TAKE ACTION.’

If you see a child alone in a car, take action. Call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond in these situations.

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