June 21st through the 27th is Missouri Summer Weather Safety Week. The week is set aside to help raise awareness of excessive heat. The Raytown Police Department would like to share heat safety tips with parents and guardians, to help keep all of our children safe, while they enjoy their summer.
Even on mild days in the 70s, studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects are more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults. A dark dashboard or car seat can quickly reach temperatures in the range of 180°F to over 200°F.
Follow these tips to ensure your child's safety, in and around cars:
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down, even for just a minute. This includes pets, as well.
Always check the back seat before walking away from your car. Consider placing items that you will need to take with you when you leave the car, such as your purse, jacket, or work-related item, next to the car seat, to provide a second look at the car seat when retrieving that item. That simple practice may prevent a horrible tragedy.
Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination. Don't leave sleeping infants in the car.
Touch a child's safety seat and safety belt before using it to ensure it's not too hot before securing a child.
Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars. They could accidentally trap themselves in a hot vehicle.
Always lock car doors and trunks--even at home--and keep keys out of children's reach.
Other ways to minimize the effects of extreme heat:
Provide a cool, air-conditioned space for your child to get out of the heat. If your home does not have air-conditioning, find a nearby building that does. Libraries can be a great place for a cool retreat from the heat.
Make sure your child stays hydrated. Encourage your child to drink water regularly, even before he/she asks for it.
Plan for more time to rest than usual; heat can often make children feel tired.
Don’t forget about the effects of sun exposure. Use sunscreen and shade.