BURRILLVILLE – Safety advocate Jim Weicherding’s latest series of coloring cartoons, released this week, aims to teach kids and parents about the importance of hot car and truck safety as the warm summer months approach.
“Heatstroke is the leading cause of death, excluding crashes, for children aged 14 and younger,” Weicherding said. “More than 800 children have died due to vehicle heatstroke since 1998. That is an average of 39 deaths each year.”
Weicherding noted that the previous two years, that number has exceeded 50 heatstroke-related deaths each year involving children.
“Many of these deaths are caused by children having access to the family vehicles. They get inside and mistakenly lock themselves in that vehicle,” he said.
Weicherding noted that parents should keep vehicles locked at all times, and keep keys away from children. Consumer Reports statistics show that it takes just one hour for a child to die of heatstroke inside a closed vehicle, even if the outside temperature is 61 degrees.
A nationally-recognized, award-winning, child safety advocate and cartoonist, Weicherding has made segments in his series available free of charge as part of Hasbro Children’s Hospital community outreach efforts.
Readers are invited to print the cartoons published below and use the opportunity to speak with children about how to avoid the danger of hot vehicles.