Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Reminds Residents to Take Steps to Avoid Heat Stroke
The hospital advises against leaving children alone in closed-up cars.
Editor's Note: The following information is a press release from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
As temperatures climb back into the 90s this weekend, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s (RWJ) Injury Prevention Program and Safe Kids Middlesex County remind caregivers to never leave children alone in cars.
These horrific incidents are happening far too often – throughout the year and in nearly all 50 states. Safe Kids Coalitions across the US have worked diligently to host hundreds of “Never Leave Your Child Alone” events, which include ad campaigns, brochures, tip sheets, posters and flyers, and heavy involvement from the local community.
"As these tragedies continue to occur, our Injury Prevention Program and Safe Kids Middlesex County are intensifying our efforts to get the message out that the inside of a vehicle is an extremely dangerous place for a child alone in hot weather," says Diana Starace, Injury Prevention Coordinator for RWJ’s Level I Trauma Center and Safe Kids Middlesex County. “Even on a mild day, the inside of a car can quickly become very hot. This is a place no child should be alone, and because children’s bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults, this makes them much more susceptible to heat stroke.”
Just recently, a Kearny woman was charged with child endangerment when she left her 1-year-old son in the car with the windows rolled up while she shopped at a Lyndhurst strip mall. The temperature outside was a mild 80 degrees at the time, but within minutes, the child became overheated and was unresponsive. Alert Good Samaritans intervened to rescue the child, who was treated by emergency medical services personnel and taken to a local hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Although most would assume this would never happen to them, there is no common description of the caregiver that has experienced this tragedy.
“Reaching parents and caregivers with ways to prevent these tragedies will no doubt help keep kids safe. These heartbreaking incidents can happen to anyone, and public education is vital to combating these preventable occurrences,” notes Starace.
RWJ and Safe Kids Middlesex County urge individual to prevent deaths and near-misses by remembering to ACT:
Avoid heat stroke-related injury and death by:
§ Never leaving your child alone in the car, even for a minute.
§ Consistently locking unattended vehicle doors and trunks.
Create reminders and habits that give you and your child’s caregiver a safety net:
§ Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting all other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times.
§ Place a purse, briefcase, gym bag, cell phone or an item that is needed at your next stop in a back seat.
§ Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at childcare.
Take action if you see an unattended child in a vehicle:
§ Dial 911 immediately and follow the instructions that emergency personnel provide – they are trained to determine if a child is in danger.
For more information on preventing child heat stroke deaths, please visit www.ggweather.com/heat and www.safekids.org/heatstroke. For additional safety information and resources, please contact Diana Starace at Diana.Starace@rwjuh.edu or (732) 418-8026.