What Every Parent Needs To Know About Summer Safety
With the start of summer, thoughts turn to the school year’s end, family vacations and swimming in the community pool. However, in addition to typical safety concerns that most parents share – such as wearing sunscreen, bug bites and talking to strangers – Pop-A-Lock wants parents and caregivers to be informed about:
- Keeping “latch-key” children safe and secure during summer vacation while their parents are at work;
- Keeping one’s home secure while on summer vacation; and
- The extreme – and sometimes fatal – dangers of locking a child in a vehicle during soaring summer temperatures.
The PALSavesKids Program is aimed to support local police and firefighters, and the program educates parents to first call 9-1-1, and then call 1-800-Pop-A-Lock. The Pop-A-Lock technician nearest to the scene will leave all other priorities aside to arrive as soon as possible to unlock the child from the automobile. This free community service was originally launched in 1991 and since then has saved thousands of children. The following are some daunting facts about the severity of leaving children in locked vehicles:
The Department of Earth and Climate Sciences at San Francisco State University cites that: “Last year, 2013, there were at least forty-four deaths of children in vehicles; thirty-nine of which have been confirmed as heatstroke and five which, based upon the known circumstances, are most likely heatstroke.”
Since 1998, media reports about the total 606 child vehicular heatstroke deaths shows the following circumstances:
- 52% – child “forgotten” by caregiver (316 Children)
- 29% – child playing in unattended vehicle (175)
- 18% – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (108)
- 1% – circumstances unknown (6)
To prevent these situations from occurring, Pop-A-Lock’s PALSavesKids program includes a call-to-action:“PALSaves 1-2-3.”
The “1-2-3” reminds caregivers to “look before you lock” by:
- 2-looking; and then
- 3- locking.
PALSavesKids’ mascot, PALS Puppy, is a gentle reminder to caregivers to always look in the backseat before leaving the vehicle. Specific recommendations on using the PALS Puppy as a visual reminder are noted in the campaign’s “PALSaves 1-2-3” Tips Sheet. The following is an excerpt:
- Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.
- Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floorboard in the back seat.
- Keep a large stuffed animal or favorite toy in the child’s car seat when it’s not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal or toy in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that anytime the stuffed animal or toy is up front you know the child is in the back seat in a child safety seat.
“We launched this program in 1991 to educate caregivers about the severe dangers of leaving children in unattended vehicles or mistakenly locking a child in an automobile,” said Don Marks, CEO of Pop-A-Lock. “By using our expertise in the security industry, we are able to quickly and efficiently remove children from harm. This program is one of the numerous ways we give back to the community.”
For more information about Pop-A-Lock, Pop-A-Lock’s Summer Safety Educational Awareness Series, or the PALSavesKids Emergency Door Unlock Program, please visit: http://www.popalock.com/ and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@popalock).