While the summer is usually associated with fun activities and warm(er) weather, the period also sees a rise in the risk of heatstroke-related child injuries and deaths in parked cars. And given that passenger safety is a top priority for General Motors, the GM Foundation is providing $200,000 to Safe Kids Worldwide to support the organization’s Never Leave Your Child in a Car campaign.
Even the numbers are startling: since 1998, an average of 37 children per year have lost their lives due to heatstroke, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On a 75-degree Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) day, a vehicle’s cabin can reach more than 100 degrees F (38 Celsius) in roughly 20 minutes; on an 80-degree Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) day, the interior of a vehicle can reach 100 degrees F in merely 10 minutes.
So it’s with the goal of raising awareness of the dangers associated with leaving children in a vehicle that the GM Foundation’s donation to Safe Kids looks to raise awareness for “National Heatstroke Awareness Day” on Wednesday, July 31.
GM is encouraging program supporters to join the day-long conversation on social media channels by tweeting and posting Facebook messages using the hashtag #heatstroke, with General Motors, Chevrolet, and OnStar having signed on to encourage their social communities to join the conversations.
“Even one death is too many, so we are grateful to have support from the GM Foundation to raise awareness about heatstroke prevention,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “By partnering with NHTSA for ‘National Heatstroke Awareness Day,’ we hope to reach parents and caregivers across the nation and put a stop these tragic losses.”
Through Safe Kids and its network of 600 coalitions and chapters across the nation, the Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car campaign provides parents and caregivers safety tips and tactics to help prevent unnecessary deaths due to heatstroke.
More information as well as safety tips, is available at www.safekids.org/heatstroke.