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NHTSA warns never leave children unattended in parked vehicle

COVINGTON -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that each year multiple children die of heat stroke as a result of being left in parked cars.

Sometimes parents or caregivers forget the child is in the car; children climb into vehicles and forget how to get out or lock themselves in the trunk; but other times parents deliberately leave the child, thinking, "I'll just be a minute."

"Even cool temperatures in the 60s can cause the temperature to rise well above 110-degrees Fahrenheit inside your car. The inside temperature can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes," the NHTSA website states.

Parents should be aware that children's bodies overheat easily and infants and small children are among those at greatest risk for heat-related illness.

"In fact, when left in a hot vehicle, a young child's body temperature may increase three to five times as fast as an adult. High body temperatures can cause permanent injury or even death," the website states.

Here is their list of prevention tips:

-- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

-- Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.

-- Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.

-- Make a habit of looking in the vehicle -- front and back -- before locking the door and walking away.

-- If you are dropping your child off at child care, and normally it's your spouse or partner who drops them off, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure the drop went according to plan.

-- Ask your child care provider to call you if your child does not show up for child care.

-- Always lock vehicle doors and trunks and keep keys out of children's reach. If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk.

-- If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Cool the child rapidly.

Symptoms of heatstroke include red, hot and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse, a throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, being grouchy or acting strangely.