2018 Fall Newsletter
Keep Kids Safe this Halloween 
Children love the magic of Halloween. But, here's a scary statistic: The CDC found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. 

Keep your little goblins and ghouls safe this year with these Halloween safety tips from KidsAndCars.org. Please share and post tips to help keep all of our ‘little characters’ safe.
Is it safe for my child to wear a bulky sweater or fleece in their car seat?

The short answer is NO. Winter coats and car seats can be a dangerous combination. Experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics and NHTSA recommend no coats or bulky clothing should be worn in car seats. Car seat technicians also say to put nothing thicker than a sweatshirt on your child under the harness straps of a car seat.

Bulky sweaters, coats or fleeces prevent a snug fit of the safety seat harness on your child. Although the harness may appear to be snug over a coat, when the coat is compressed by the force of a crash, the harness will not protect your child the way it should.
Daylight Saving Time Alerts for Safety
As we shift our clocks back this time of year, we should use extra caution:
  1. As it gets darker earlier, our visibility when driving decreases. Watch for children, adults and pets in the streets. If you’re walking or bicycling after dark, wear light clothing and use reflectors.
  2. Daylight saving is also a good time to remind yourself to check tire pressure, vehicle fluids, etc. to be sure your vehicle is ready for the winter.
  3. Experts recommend daylight saving time for checking your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. If you do not have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in your home, please get them right away. These are inexpensive and very important for the safety of your family. Remember, you should have one on every level of your home and in all sleeping areas.
Beware of the Hidden Danger:
Child Safety Car Door Locks 
Do you know if your vehicle’s child-safety, back-door locks are ‘on’ or ‘off’?

Child safety locks are built into the rear doors of most cars to prevent children from opening the doors. While this is a great safety feature to protect children from exiting the vehicle on their own, it has also played a role in children being unable to escape a vehicle after becoming trapped inside. It is unknown exactly how many child deaths have been impacted by child-safety door locks, but we do know that they have been engaged and may have played a role in many cases of child vehicular heatstroke.

The lock is typically engaged via a small switch on the edge of the door that is only accessible when the door is open.
To find out if your vehicle’s rear seat child-safety door locks are on or off, refer to your vehicle owner’s manual. They are different in all vehicles.

A few important tips to protect your child:
  • Always keep vehicles locked and keys out of reach so children cannot get into vehicles on their own.
  • Teach children never to get into a vehicle without an adult.
  • Teach children how to honk the horn in case they ever become trapped inside.
  • If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside and trunk of all vehicles in the area.
2018: One of the Worst Years Ever
for Child Hot Car Deaths
Our hearts are heavy. This year has been one of the worst years in U.S. history for child hot car deaths with a total of 48 confirmed fatalities (+ two additional fatalities that are pending autopsy results). The most horrific year in U.S. history was 2010 with a total of 49 deaths.

The devastating 2018 death toll has increased the yearly U.S. average from 37 to 38 child hot car deaths per year. We have to do better. Our children are counting on us. Every single hot car tragedy is 100% preventable!

Remember, children have died in hot cars on days where the outside temperature was in the lower 50s. The danger of hot cars does not go away as winter approaches.

As we continue to push for technology as a solution to hot car tragedies (see info on the HOT CARS Act below), please continue to share our “Look Before You Lock” safety tips and NEW education materials within your networks. The fact remains that most people truly believe this will never happen to them and that is exactly why it continues to happen year after year. 
Keyless Ignition Warning & Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
KidsAndCars.org has documented 28 deaths and 71 injuries due to cars with keyless ignitions being accidentally left running in the garage of a home or other enclosed area. This is an increasingly alarming problem as most new vehicles now come with keyless ignitions, yet many drivers have been used to using a “keyed ignition” their entire lives. The problem is when the driver gets out of their car with the car keys in hand, they believe that their vehicle must be off since they have their keys with them. However, the car can (and does) remain running even with the keys outside of the vehicle.

When vehicles are left running in garages, carbon monoxide build up can happen quickly. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is emitted by running vehicles and can quickly cause you to become disoriented or suddenly ill – even leading to death. All family members and pets in the home are at danger. 

Important safety tips;
  • Ensure that you have working carbon monoxide-detectors in all areas of the home, especially near sleeping areas. Check batteries twice a year and replace detectors every 6-10 years. This is a great holiday gift idea for that stubborn relative who thinks they don’t need one! ;)
  • Double check that vehicles have been properly turned off after every trip. Come up with a system to make sure that you turn your car off every time.
  • Never leave a vehicle running in an enclosed space, such as a garage.

Learn more about how to protect your family from the dangers of vehicle-related carbon monoxide poisoning.

The New York Times, By David Jeans & Majlie De Puy Kamp, May 13, 2018
The HOT CARS Act Gets 3 New Sponsors
UPDATE: In the last several weeks, three new co-sponsors have signed on to support the HOT CARS Act. Much gratitude to Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal [D-CA-47] , Rep. Mark Pocan [D-WI-2] and Rep. Norma J. Torres [D-CA-35] for their co-sponsorship and for being champions for our children.

The HOT CARS Act is a federal bill that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a rule requiring vehicles to come with a system to alert the driver if a passenger (child, vulnerable adult, disabled person or animal) remains in the back seat when a car is turned off.

Because  no one  thinks this could happen to them, children will continue to die until we have systems in vehicles to protect them. Our cars already have dozens of reminder alerts – for low fuel, headlights left on, engine issues, doors left ajar, low tire pressure, dead battery, etc. Why not a simple reminder that would save the life of a child?

Take 30 seconds to send a letter asking you’re your legislators to support the HOT CARS Act. The letter is already written for you, all you have to do is add your name!

More than 8,400 people have already contacted their legislators via the PETA alert. To get our legislators to act, let’s send as many letters as we can to our members of Congress!

KidsAndCars.org would like to also extend our most sincere gratitude to the 39 consumer and safety groups, the Animal Care Coalition, animal protection organizations and the many individuals who are advocating for the bill. Thank you our newest supporters;
  • Air & Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA)
  • American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM)
  • The Humane Society of the U.S.
  • PETA

Please contact Amber@KidsAndCars.org if your agency or organization would like to be added to the list of supporters for the bill.

Learn more about the HOT CARS Act
Pet Night on Capitol Hill:
A good time was had by all at Pet Night on Capitol Hill with   PIJAC4Pets  & our animal care coalition friends. Look at those adorable fur babies! 
MUST READ News Articles:
Congrats to Susan Koeppen
for her Emmy-winning feature on frontovers:
Susan Koeppen, CBS, May 8, 2017

Victoria McKenzie, The Crime Report, Aug. 21, 2018

USA TODAY NETWORK Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , July 17, 2018
Education Materials
Check out our NEW printed materials at our online store at https://www.kidsandcars.org/shop/

KidsAndCars.org also offers FREE, downloadable materials and social media content at; https://www.kidsandcars.org/how-kids-get-hurt/heat-stroke/
Recent Press Releases