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Dangers of Leaving Kids in Hot Cars and How to Prevent It August 9, 2012

While summertime often is a time of fun and relaxation, without proper precaution in the hot weather, it can lead to tragedy.

In anticipation of prolonged, triple-digit temperatures, Dell Children's Medical Center and Safe Kids Austin are urging media to remind the community of the dangers of leaving a child unattended in a hot car. Let's prevent a tragedy from happening in our community.

In 2011, 33 children died from heat stroke while unattended in cars. The Central Texas community was affected by two of those deaths last year. August is the deadliest month. This week has demonstrated the trend. The recent death of child in Nashville, TN was the eighth in a one-week period (August 1 - 7, 2012). (Click here for a locations child vehicular death in the United States in 2012.)

Although most assume this would never happen to them, there is no common description of the caregiver who has experienced this tragedy. It has happened to the rich and poor, well-educated and less educated, women and men, and city-dwellers and suburbanites. Historically, 51-percent of these accidents occur because of parents unintentionally "forgetting" their child, likely from a distraction or change in routine.

All of the deaths and injuries are preventable.

Here's what parents and caregivers need to know and why.

For more information, please call Tareka Wheeler, Safe Kids Austin program coordinator, at 512-825-6915

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