For Immediate Release


Janette Fennell,  484-278-4641, cell 415-336-9279, or  [email protected]   
Susan Auriemma, 516-721-2664 or  [email protected]
Susan Pepperdine, 913-262-7414, cell 913-205-5304 or  [email protected]

National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Awareness and Prevention Day is April 26
5 Children Have Already Died in 2017, Reports

April 24, 2017 - In announcing the first National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Awareness and Prevention Day for 2017, on  Wednesday, April 26th, points out that heatstroke deaths are not rare, isolated tragedies.  
On average, once every nine days an innocent child dies of heatstroke in a vehicle. It is of paramount importance that  we work together to continue to raise awareness and prevent these deaths.
Already this year five children have died from heatstroke inside vehicles, and summer is still two months away:
  1. A boy, 1, died Feb. 6 in Pinecrest, Florida
  2. A boy, 2, died Feb. 28 in Brandon, Florida
  3. A girl, 3, died March 28 in Ville Platte, Louisiana
  4. A boy, 1, died April 4 in Vestavia, Alabama
  5. A boy, 23 months, died April 14 in Burleson, Texas
Since 1990, almost 800 children have died in these preventable tragedies. An average of 37 children die needlessly  every year from vehicular heatstroke. In 2016 a total of 39 children died.  One of the biggest challenges; nobody thinks  this could ever happen to them.

"If you're a parent or caregiver, ask yourself, 'What steps can I take to make sure our child is never left behind,'"  says Janette Fennell, founder and president of, the leading national nonprofit child safety organization  working solely to prevent injuries and deaths of children in and around motor vehicles.
Safety steps include:
  • Put something in the back seat so you have to open the back door when leaving the vehicle - cellphone, employee badge, handbag, left shoe, etc. 
  • Every time you park your vehicle open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind. "Look Before You Lock."
  • Ask your childcare provider or babysitter to call you within 10 minutes if your child hasn't arrived on time.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in your child's car seat and move it to the front seat to remind you when your baby is in the back seat.
  • Focus on driving and avoid cellphone calls and any other distractions while driving.

The public can also help. encourages individuals to take immediate action if they see a child alone in  a vehicle. "Call 911, and try to find the driver. But if the child is in imminent danger, it may be necessary to break the  window furthest away from the child to rescue them," stressed Fennell. The organization offers a small tool  called resqme™, an all-in-one window breaker and seatbelt cutter that fits on a keychain. To break the glass, simply
tap the spring-loaded device on the corner of a car window. (
Using the hashtags #heatstrokekills and #lookbeforeyoulock, will post facts and safety tips throughout  the day about ways to prevent child vehicular heatstroke. The group is also calling on the public and media outlets to  use these hashtags to share information on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Photos, graphics and posts to

"We believe education along with technology solutions, such as systems to warn when a child is left behind,  are the most effective way to prevent these tragedies," Fennell added. To educate new parents, the organization has  distributed more than 750,000 safety information cards to birthing hospitals nationwide through its  "Look Before You Lock" educational campaign, the first program of its kind.
For additional information, statistics and charts on child vehicular heat stroke visit:


About :  Founded in 1996, is the only national nonprofit child safety organization dedicated solely to preventing injuries and deaths of children in and around vehicles. promotes awareness among parents, caregivers and the general public about the dangers to children, including backover and frontover incidents, and heat stroke from being unknowingly left in a vehicle. The organization works to prevent tragedies through data collection, education and public awareness, policy change and survivor advocacy.  |