With the hottest days of the year ahead, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is teaming up with local agencies to remind people of the dangers of overexposure to heat, in particular, leaving infants in hot cars.
The chief concern statistically is accidently leaving children in the car. An average 37 children die of heatstroke annually in the US each year after being left in locked cars. There have been 14 such fatalities so far this year.
Illinois Emergency Management Director James Joseph is urging people to remember to check the back seat in an effort not to accidently leave a children in the car.
The other other concern is to always keep cars lock and keys away from kids, to prevent accidental entrapment. Joseph says no one should be left in a parked car, ever, even for a short time with the windows cracked. He says such conditions can lead to brain damage and death quickly for children because they’re smaller.
The director is also making use of Heat Safety Awareness Month in Illinois. He’s reminding people to remain hydrated and to avoid overexertion and strenuous outdoor activities if possible in times of extreme heat and high humidity.
IEMA also suggests checking on loved-ones without air conditioning who ho spend much of their time alone. Pets also need plenty of water and the refuge of shade if they are outdoors.