Digital campaign warns of summer hot car risks

Digital awareness campaign warns against parents leaving children left in hot cars.

James Hayes | 8th Aug 18
Image of child in a car seat. Not-for-profit Kids4Kars has launched a digital campaign to raise awareness that all adults are capable of unknowingly leaving children in hot cars during this summer’s heatwave, putting them at risk of sunstroke.

A US pubic safety not-for-profit has launched a digital campaign designed to raise awareness that all parents and carers are capable of unknowingly leaving children in hot cars during this summer’s heatwave, putting them at risk of sunstroke and even death.

Kars4Kids’ ‘It Can Happen’ campaign follows ongoing efforts to educate parents around the world about the dangers of hot cars and on precautions that can be taken to avoid forgetting a child in the car, including developing a free safety app in 2014 and a viral hot car challenge  YouTube campaign in 2015.

The campaign’s webpage uses a combination of online video, research and real-life accounts to persuade parents that they are indeed capable of ‘forgetting’ a child, regardless of how responsible and loving they may be. The page ends with a choice of simple precautions to commit to taking, such as asking daycare providers to call if baby is not dropped off, and downloading an app to alert drivers to baby’s presence.

“We still see far too many parents holding the mistaken belief that only ‘bad’ parents can leave a child in the car,” said Wendy Kirwan, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Kars4Kids. “With our latest campaign, we are trying to break that stigma and to convince people that they must take precautions to prevent needless tragedies from happening to them.”

Kirwan added: “Summer and warm days are far from over, and unfortunately, we are on pace this year to see a record number of hot car deaths. These are heartbreaking tragedies, and there are simple precautions all parents and caregivers can be taking to make sure it never happens to them.”

A recent survey by Kars4Kids found that just 16% of parents polled indicated ‘concern that leaving a child in a car can happen to them’ and that 15% ‘are taking precautions’. 78% ‘think negatively’ of parents who forget a child in a car, describing these parents as ‘irresponsible’, ‘unfit to be a parent’, and even ‘murderers’.

However, 11% of survey respondents said they believe it is ‘OK’ to leave a child alone in a car ‘for a few minutes’.