DHEC reminds parents not to leave kids in cars as temps rise

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Now that temperatures are on the rise, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reminding everyone not to leave children alone in cars, even for a minute.

Every 10 days in the U.S., a child dies from being left in a hot car, according to DHEC. Most of these deaths are preventable, and the result of a distracted caregiver forgetting a child is in the car.

In South Carolina, there hasn't been a recorded instance of a child death from heatstroke after being left in a car since 2011, according to DHEC. Last year, at least one person in our area was arrested for leaving children unattended in a hot vehicle. In June 2013, a 27-year-old Florence woman was charged with unlawful neglect of a child after allegedly leaving children alone in a car for an extended period of time.

At addition, several people were cited in the Grand Strand last year for leaving dogs unattended in a hot vehicle. Many of these people received a citation for abandoned/mistreated animal.

DHEC is working to get the word out to families about the dangers of leaving children alone in hot cars, and the steps that parents can take to keep kids safe. These tips include:

• Don't leave your child alone in the car, even for a minute.

• Remember to ACT: Avoid heatstroke. Create reminders. Take action.

• If you see a child left alone in a hot car, call 911 immediately.

For more information from DHEC about reducing preventable heatstroke, visit Safe Kids Worldwide here: http://www.safekids.org/heatstroke

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