ALEXANDRIA, Va. – May 15, 2016 – On average, a child dies from heatstroke in the back seat of a parked car every 10 days, and the death toll typically rises to two per week from May to September. To help prevent these tragedies, the International Parking Institute (IPI) has produced a compelling 30-second public service video aimed at increasing awareness of the dangers of leaving children in parked cars.
The video features images of babies accompanied by time-lapsed audio that simulates their experience as a vehicle’s interior temperature rises. Narration highlights several key facts and safety reminders:
- Never leave a child in a parked car — not even for a minute.
- Put your wallet or phone in the backseat as a reminder that a child is in the car.
- Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t arrive on time.
- Call 911 if you see a child alone in a car.
IPI is encouraging its members to download the video at parking.org/safety, distribute it to their local TV stations, and use it in their social-media campaigns to help prevent child heatstroke deaths this summer.
Statistics show that most of these tragedies occur when parents or caregivers are distracted or preoccupied and simply forget that a child is in the back seat. In some cases, the victims were intentionally left behind, perhaps because they were sleeping or parents thought it was safe to leave them unattended while they ran a quick errand.
“This attention-grabbing video sends a powerful message that leaving a child in a car for just a few minutes can have deadly consequences,” said IPI CEO Shawn Conrad, CAE. “People don’t realize that a car’s interior can rise 43 degrees in just an hour and can easily top 123 degrees, even on relatively mild days and with the windows partially open.
For a child, whose body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s, heatstroke can be fatal at temperatures starting at 104 degrees.
IPI’s Parking Safety Matters program has worked to heighten heatstroke awareness since 2014. In addition to the new video PSA, a print ad and fact sheet on heatstroke in parked cars is available at parking.org/safety.