NEW YORK STATE – For National Heatstroke Prevention Day on Monday, July 31, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) are reminding motorists to keep children and pets safe by not leaving them in cars.
Parents and caregivers also are cautioned about leaving cars unlocked during hot weather, as children sometimes go into them to play and can become overwhelmed by the heat. The temperatures outside do not need to reach the 90-degree mark to be dangerous.
“In our overly busy lives, there is nothing more important we can do than to take a moment to look before we lock our vehicles to be sure we do not leave a child behind in a car on a hot day,” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and GTSC Acting Chair. “We have all read news stories about parents accidentally leaving their children in the car with fatal consequences. We can avoid these tragic incidences by remembering to always look before you lock.”
The National Highway Transportation Safety Association reports that 700 children died from being left in a hot car between 1998 and 2016. In 54 percent of cases, they were forgotten by a parent or caregiver. In 28 percent of cases, the children had gone into the car to play. In 2016, there were 39 heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles nationwide, a 63 percent increase from 2015.