Cypress Creek EMS has joined forces with the Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car Texas task force and Safe Kids Greater Houston to prevent the death and serious injury of children from being left unattended, and/or forgotten in a vehicle.
It is against the law in Texas to leave a child unattended in a vehicle for longer than five minutes. These unbearable incidents are happening with parents who are educators, executives and even medically trained. It can happen to anyone and only takes a few minutes to cause irreversible damage or even death.
In 2010, Texas led the nation with 13 child fatalities due to hyperthermia (heat stroke) from children being left unattended in vehicles or from entering unlocked vehicles and subsequently being unable to get out. The first hyperthermia death in the United States during 2011 has already occurred, and it took place in Texas. Beyond the deaths, CCEMC knows there are many more “near misses” that fortunately do not result in a child’s death.
Here is some helpful information:
Dial 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a car. EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble.
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the win¬dow slightly open.
Believe it or not, routines and distractions have caused people to mistakenly leave children behind in cars. Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or something that is needed at your next stop on the floor in front of a child in a back seat. This triggers caregivers to see children when they open the rear door and reach for their belongings.
Set your cell phone or Blackberry reminder to be sure you dropped your child off at day care.
Set your computer calendar program, such as Outlook, to ask, “Did you drop off at day care today?”
Have a plan that if your child is late for day care that you will be called within a few minutes. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off young children at day care.
To prevent trunk entrapment:
Teach children not to play in any vehicle.
Lock all vehicle doors and trunk after everyone has exited – especially at home. Keep keys out of children’s reach. Cars are not playgrounds or babysitters.
Check vehicles and trunks first if a child goes missing.