No one knows how frequently children are left unattended in vehicles, but each year, several dozen young children across the U.S. die in parked motor vehicles from heat-related causes. There is no typical family affected by these tragedies. They occur to children whose parents are wealthy, and those who are not. They affect two-parent families, and those in which a parent is in jail or deployed overseas. Many of the children were strapped in their child safety seats when they died, indicating that parents were compliant with laws intended to protect their children.
Increased media attention, advocacy efforts and changes in state laws have led to many efforts to address this dangerous situation through creating and promoting educational and outreach materials. However, little to no effort has been made to evaluate these materials or to create guidelines to assist in producing effective, accurate and reliable materials.
That is, until now. Guidelines for Developing Educational Materials to Address Children Unattended in Vehicles is designed for injury prevention programs, child safety organizations, and child care centers interested in reducing this risky behavior.
Originally published on June 1, 2008