Child Car Safety for Child Abuse Prevention Month
County of Prince George, Virginia
For Immediate Release
April 14, 2022
For further information contact:
Jeffrey D. Stoke – (804) 722-8600
Prince George Department of Social Services Promotes Child Car Safety for Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Prince George Department of Social Services is committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect as we work to support families to address the safety and well-being of children. As we welcome warmer weather, it is important to highlight child car safety.
According to Kids and Cars Safety, over 1,000 children have died in hot cars nationwide since 1990.
There are far too many children seriously injured or killed from being left alone in or around a vehicle for “just a minute.” We all understand the inconvenience of loading, unloading and reloading a child into a vehicle, however, we must never put our own convenience above the safety of our precious children. On a hot day, the temperature in a car can rise to dangerous levels in less than one hour.
Safety Tips for Parents and Caregivers:
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child is in distress, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
- Never allow children to play inside of vehicles.
- Always keep vehicles locked to help prevent children from locking themselves inside.
- Use drive‐thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump. If you order take‐out, you can ask them to bring the food out to your car.
- Never leave a vehicle unattended with the engine running under any circumstances.
- Do not put children or adults inside a vehicle with the engine running while clearing snow or ice off the vehicle. Always clear the tailpipe first to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children and keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.
- Always set your emergency brake when your vehicle is parked.
- Create reminders. Place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child.
- In any state, a person can face child endangerment or neglect charges for leaving a child alone in a vehicle, even if the state does not have a law specifically making it illegal to leave a child alone in a vehicle.
The Prince George Department of Social Services is committed to protecting the vulnerable children in the County. If you suspect child abuse or neglect, you can report your concerns directly to the agency at 804-733-2650 during business hours, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. After hours, you can make a report to the State Hotline at 1-800-552-7096. You may remain anonymous.
If you are interested in learning more about child abuse and neglect or how you can support the County's children, please join the agency's Child Protection Team on April 28, 2022 from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. in the Human Services Community Room at 6450 Administration Drive, Bldg. 12, for more discussion around this topic.
For more information on Kids and Cars, visit kidsandcars.org.
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