SALT LAKE CITY — As summer temperatures rise, Primary Children’s Hospital is giving out free safety devices to help prevent hot car related injuries and deaths.
The device is called The Safety Snap, a bright yellow lanyard with a buckle on the end that clips into the 5-point harness of the car seat. When parents go to buckle in their child they remove the safety strap and put it around their neck. When they arrive at their destination, the strap aims to serve as a visual reminder about the child in the back.
“These tragedies can happen to anyone, and often occur when people forget a child is in the car,” says Jessica Strong, Community Health Manager at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.
“Stress, fatigue, and change of routine can push a person’s brain into autopilot, making it easier to forget,” Strong said.
She adds, summer is a time of heightened risk due to hot weather and changes in routine, including children out of school and families staying up late for activities.
You can request a free Safety Snap at PrimaryChildrens.org/safetysnap.
Each year, about 40 children nationwide die after being left in a hot vehicle, and 2018 was the deadliest summer on record with 52 fatalities.
In Utah, 12 children have died in hot vehicles since 1990 and others have suffered injuries in close calls, according to a press release from Primary Children’s Hospital.
The hospital lists additional ways to prevent hot car related injuries:
Never leave your child alone in a vehicle – even for a few minutes. A child’s body temperature can increase 3-5 times faster than an adult’s body temperature. Cracking a window has very little effect on the temperature inside the car.
Always check your vehicle before leaving it.
Keep a visual reminder that a child is with you, like a stuffed animal or diaper bag in the seat next to you. Or, place something you’ll need when you arrive at your destination, like a cell phone or purse, in the backseat while driving.
If you see a child left alone in a car, contact the police or call 911.
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