Fight Child Heatstroke With Mindfulness, Aloha

July 28, 2019, 7:59 AM HST (Updated July 28, 2019, 7:59 AM)
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The Hawai’i Police Department has asked island residents extend aloha to their communities and eliminate a fixable problem by reminding friends and family not to leave children unattended in vehicles for any amount of time.

On average, one child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle nearly every 10 days in the United States. A total of 52 children died from heatstroke in 2018, according to an HPD release sent Friday, July 26, 2019.

Heatstroke isn’t about irresponsible people intentionally leaving children in cars, the release continued. Most cases occur when a child is mistakenly left or gets into a vehicle unattended and becomes trapped.

Heatstroke in children can happen quickly, as their bodies are smaller and weigh less, and are more prone to the effects of extreme temperatures. It doesn’t even need to be a hot day, the release explained. When the temperature outside is as low as 60 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach up to 110 degrees, depending on time and conditions. If a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child will die, the release stated.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages parents to check the back seat before leaving the car. The NHTSA also suggests keeping a stuffed animal or another memento in the child’s car seat when it’s empty, moving it to the front seat as a visual reminder of when the child is present in the back seat.

Parents should also be mindful to keep keys out of reach of children and to keep car doors locked after exiting the car, the release continued. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately. Chances are the child was left by accident. If the child appears in distress or is non-responsive, remove the child from the vehicle and spray the child with cool water.

For more information and tips to prevent heatstroke, visit online.

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