Officials offer heat safety tips for children

JACKSON, Tenn.– “Although you may be a very loving and responsible parent, this can happen to you,” said Don Friddle, Safe Kids West Tennessee Coalition Coordinator.

According to injuryfacts.org on average on across the country, 38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.

In Tennessee, three children have died from heatstroke, including one child last week in Knoxville.

Friddle said parents need to be aware.

“Last year in 2018, there were 53 deaths as a result of children being left in hot cars,” Friddle said.

He said even moderate temperatures can be threatening to a child in a car.

“Temperatures in the 50s can result in tragic situations. With the extreme temperatures we’re going to have, the temperature will actually rise 20 degrees every 10 minutes,” Friddle said.

Friddle said a high percentage of these deaths are unintentional.

“There’s various reasons why good, loving parents accidentally leave their children in hot cars,” Friddle said.

But to prevent these accidents, Friddle urges parents to leave reminders.

“Put a teddy bear or some kind of reminder in the car seat and when you put the child in the car seat, move that to the front seat, and let that serve as a reminder that the child is back there,” Friddle said.

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