Kids in Hot Cars
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) works tirelessly to protect children within motor vehicles — in transit or at rest — especially during the heat of summer. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 968 children have died due to pediatric vehicular heatstroke (PVH) since 1998. 33 American children died from PVH in 2022 alone, and each death was preventable.
In fact, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-traffic, non-crash fatalities for children aged 14 and younger. Even in temperatures as low as 60 degrees, children are in danger.
There are three main scenarios for heatstroke fatalities, including when:
- Children are forgotten in vehicles by parents or caregivers.
- Children gain access to unlocked vehicles and are unable to get out.
- Children are left knowingly by parents or caregivers.
To keep your children safe from PVH:
- Never leave them in a vehicle unattended — even for a quick errand.
- Check the backseat every time you exit the car.
- Always lock your car and keep the keys out of reach.
- Anytime a caregiver, friend or family member babysits, ensure they know the risks, along with the preventive measures listed above.