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A hot car death in our own community

SMALL-carseatbrochure-baby3This weekend I got a message that I had been dreading ever since I started at Dayton Children’s – and hoped I would never see. As part of Safe Kids Worldwide, I am alerted every time a child dies in a hot car.  This time – it was a child from Moraine – our child.

Three-year-old Camilo Juarez’s death is the 17th death this year and fourth death recently in a trend of children are gaining access to unlocked cars and then cannot escape. However, Camilo is not a statistic – his death hits so close to home. He was a little boy in our community who died far too soon.

As reported by local media, Camilo apparently gained access to an abandoned vehicle in Moraine – minutes away from Dayton Children’s. He was brought to our hospital on Wednesday after being found in the vehicle and had been fighting for his life since then. While the outcome is tragic, I’m thankful he is no longer suffering.

Gratefully, Camilo’s short life was honored by a community vigil which hopefully will give some relief to his grieving family and serves a reminder of the importance of every life. In a time when we want to blame someone or something for his untimely death – the community is rallying around to support everyone in their grief.

I hope that Camilo’s legacy is that we remain vigilant in protecting our children – and other’s children – so that no more children die such an untimely death.

Rest in peace Camilo.

Protecting our children

The first step any of us can take in preventing these tragedies is to admit that it could happen to us. I have blogged about this many times before but wanted to once again just share a few tips that I try to remind myself everyday as I drive my two girls around.

Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

To see just how fast a car can heat up even on a seemingly mild day check out this  video.

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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