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Summer safety for kids in cars

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- As the dog days of summer approach, it's time to remind everyone never to leave a child alone in a car. Fatalities occur every year due to children left alone in vehicles during the summer months. Temperatures inside cars can rise 19 degrees in 10 minutes. Leaving windows slightly open has little effect on the temperature inside a car.

A child's body heats up three to five times faster than an adult's body. A child's biological system is not fully developed to regulate body temperature, abosrbing and generating heat under stress more quickly than an adult does.

When a person's body temperature reaches 104 degrees, internal organs begin to shut down. At a body temperature of 107 degrees, a person dies. Symptoms can quickly progress from flushed, dry skin and vomiting to seizures, organ failure and death.

A tragedy can be prevented if parents, caregivers, bystanders and the public remember to ACT.

· A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Make sure to keep your car locked when you're not in it so kids don't get in by themselves.
· C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you're not following your normal routine.
· T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

For more information, visit http://www.safercar.gov/parents/heatstroke.htm