NC is fifth in nation in deaths by leaving kids in car alone - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

NC is fifth in nation in deaths by leaving kids in car alone

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Many parents say they will never leave their child in the car alone, especially in hot weather. However, our state ranks in the top five in kids dying from heat stroke after being left in a car.

While many people may think the major reason children are left in a car alone is neglect, Vidant Medical Center's Injury Prevention Program Coordinator, Ellen Walston, says that is not the case.

"Fifty-two percent of the time children are merely forgotten. The parent is so busy, have too much on their mind that they forgot and drove right by the daycare and did not leave the child as planned. So that is a significant number. "

Walston says nationwide almost 40 children die from being left in car alone every year.

"Unfortunately we have lost over 500 children since they began tracking this in 1998. And we've already lost 19 children nationally this year. So it's a huge problem that we are working very hard to educate parents about the dangers," said Walston.

Experts suggest, placing a little sticker or message on your rear-view mirror to remind you to check the back seat. Another tip, leaving your cell phone, diaper bag, or purse in the back seat to force you to open the back doors when you get leave your car. They also say once everybody gets out, make sure you lock the doors, and because kids can always sneak back in and get trapped.

"No one ever dreams that they would do it, but it's just critical that you have those reminders built into your day to make sure the tragedy never happens," said Walston.

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