WHO: Dr. Eric Peters, Pediatric Intensivist, Overland Park Regional Medical Center and KidsAndCars.org Director, Amber Rollins 

WHAT: Safety tips and demos to protect small children in hot cars during summer months

WHEN: 1 p.m. Wed., June 8, 2016

WHERE: Outside Emergenc y Room, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, 435 and Quivira Road

WHY: Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatalities for children 14 and younger who die from a preventable tragedy.  Often children are unknowingly left by loving, responsible parents who thought their child was safe and sound where they were supposed to be.  Overland Park Regional Medical Center  is partnering with KidsAndCars.org to  provide safety tips to prevent tragedy. 

A parked car can reach 125 degrees in minutes, even when the windows are partially open. Children are especially vulnerable to heat stroke, as their body temperature rise s three to five times faster than an adult’s.  Dr. Eric Peters, a board certified Pediatric Intensivist at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, says partnering with KidsAndCars.org is a natural. 

“Together we can help gain awareness for a very real and unnecessary tragedy—leaving a baby or a child in a car,” he says. “Teaching new and expectant parents and caregivers the habit of always opening the back door of their vehicle every time you reach your destination to check to make sure no child or pet has been left behind and to keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat.”  Dr. Peters says right before the child is placed in the seat, move the stuffed animal to the front passenger seat as a visual reminder that a child is in the back seat.

Amber Andreasen, director of KidsAndCars.org, urges all parents and caregivers to take these dangers seriously. "The worst thing any parent or caregiver can do is to think that this would never happen to them or their family. This has happened to some of the most wonderful, responsible, educated parents,” she says. Andreasen urges parents to follow KidsAndCars.org's 'Look Before You Lock' Safety Checklist' to ensure that their precious cargo is never unknowingly left behind.

For more information on Overland Park Regional Medical Center, visit oprmc.com.

For more information on child vehicular heatstroke including charts, graphics, safety tips, fact sheets, statistics, social media posts, etc. visit kidsandcars.org/heatstroke-day.html.