What: Oklahoma City Fire Department, Police Department & EMSA simulate response and rescue to call of child trapped in hot car; AAA Oklahoma and Safe Kids Oklahoma share life-saving tips
When: Tuesday, July 9, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: David & Son Towing Service, AAA contractors, 1621 S.E. 23rd (2 blocks east of I-35)
Shane Williams, Oklahoma City Fire Department Battalion Chief
Laura Gamino, R.N., Safe Kids Metro-Oklahoma City coordinator
Leslie Gamble, AAA public affairs manager
Contact: Leslie Gamble, AAA Oklahoma, 405-488-7611
-Why this can happen to anyone & intentional steps to prevent it
- 18 children have already died this year inside hot cars in the U.S.; an all-time high of 52 deaths occurred last year (since records have been kept)
- 23 children, ages 14 or younger, have died in Oklahoma due to entrapment in hot vehicles in the past two decades (’98 – ‘18); Oklahoma ranks 12th highest per capita for child heat stroke deaths
- July is typically the deadliest month for children in cars. On a 95-degree day, a car can heat up to more than 180 degrees. At 104 degrees, internal organs start to shut down.
- A child can die of heat stroke on a 72-degree day so don’t let “cooler” summer days fool you. Even on a mild 70-degree day, the temperature inside of a car can rise 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And it continues to rise from there, creating a dangerous environment for children who are unattended in the car.
- AAA Oklahoma and Safe Kids Oklahoma Urges All Citizens to ACT:
A—Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child in the car alone, not even for a minute. A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And cracking a window doesn’t help.
C—Create electronic reminders or put something in the backseat you need when exiting the car - for example, your non-driving shoe, your cell phone, purse, wallet or briefcase. In more than half of the cases, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car. It can happen to anyone but most often when routines are changed.
T—Take action and immediately call 9-1-1 if you notice a child unattended in a car. Await the arrival of first responders. In Oklahoma, however, you cannot be sued or prosecuted if you as a “Good Samaritan” must break into a locked vehicle to rescue a child.