Social Media Campaign Aims to Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars

Children dying in hot cars are gruesome headlines we're unfortunately confronted with every summer. Just a week ago, according to the Los Angeles Times, the 18th child this year in the U.S., a 10-month-old girl in Kansas, died after being left behind in a car.

Related: Never Leave Kids in Cars Unattended

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatalities for children younger than 14, occurring about once every 10 days, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last year alone, 44 children in the U.S. lost their lives after being left unattended in vehicles. More than half of children who have died from vehicular heatstroke were left in the car by their parent or caregiver, NHTSA said. These tragedies often occur because harried parents forget that their child is in the car, whether because of a change in routine or the child is sleeping.

To help raise awareness, NHTSA is partnering with Safe Kids and the Administration for Children and Families on an all-day social-media event today, and is calling on the public to participate.

The campaign asks participants to join the safety agencies in posting messages on Twitter and Facebook every half-hour from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. using the hashtags #checkforbaby and #heatstrokekills.

Ford, working with the NHTSA, created the infographic below to help spread the message about this safety topic. You can click on the image below for a larger version.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Thinkstock

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