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HPD Heatstroke Tips

August 1, 2019, 10:51 AM HST
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In honor of National Heatstroke Awareness Day, which fell on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, the Hawai‘i Police Department posted a reminder of ways to protect children from the affliction.

Heatstroke of children in vehicles is a tragedy that can be prevented with a little preparation, an HPD release said. By following a few tips, we can make sure that keiki are safe and prevent childhood fatalities due to heatstroke.

Remember:

  • Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down or the air conditioning on. A child’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adult’s. A core body temperature of 107 degrees is lethal.
  • Always look in both the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking away.
  • Heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.
  • Never let children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them a vehicle is not a play area.
  • Always lock your vehicle doors and trunk, and keep the keys out of a child’s reach. If a child is missing, quickly check all vehicles, including the trunk.

If dropping off a child is not part of your normal routine, there are some ways to remind yourself that the child is in the car including:

  • Place a briefcase, purse, or cell phone next to the child’s car seat so that you’ll always check the back seat before leaving the car.
  • Call your spouse or another caregiver to confirm you’ve dropped your child off.
  • Have your child care provider call you if your child doesn’t arrive.
  • Write a note and place it on the dashboard of your car, or set a reminder on your cell phone or calendar.

If you see a child alone in a vehicle:

  • Always make sure the child is okay and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.
  • If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents or have the facility’s security or management page, the car owner over the PA system.
  • If the child is not responsive and appears to be in distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child—even if that means breaking a window—many states have “Good Samaritan” laws that protect people from lawsuits for getting involved to help a person in an emergency.
    Remember: kids and hot cars are a deadly combination. Don’t take the chance. Look Before You Lock.

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