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The original item was published from 7/17/2014 3:31:00 PM to 9/7/2014 12:05:01 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: June 30, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Don't Leave Children Unattended in a Vehichle

Kids in Car

With temperatures heating up across the nation, the Parker Police Department is warning parents and caregivers of young children to be mindful that it doesn't take long for a child to die of heatstroke if left unattended in a parked car. At least 44 children in the United States lost their lives in 2013 after being left in unattended motor vehicles – and an unknown number of others were moderately to severely injured. The average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998 is 38. There have already been two such deaths reported this year.

It doesn't take much to lose a child to heatstroke. When outside temperatures are in the low 80's, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Children's bodies in particular overheat easily, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.


• Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle – even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on;
• Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away;
• Ask the childcare provider to call if the child doesn't show up for care as expected;
• Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver's view to indicate a child is in the car seat; and
• Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area and store keys out of a child's reach.

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