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NHTSA Urges Parents Not to Leave Children in Cars

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- According to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 44 American children died after being left in unattended vehicles in 2013.

The NHTSA is urging parents to "look before [they] lock," in a series of national radio and Internet ads. A recent study by Safe Kids Worldwide showed that 14 percent of parents said they had left a child alone in a parked vehicle despite the risk of heatstroke.

Young children are at particular risk of heatstroke when left unattended in a vehicle, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults', the NHTSA says.

The agency first launched the "Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock" campaign in 2012.

Since 1998, on average, 38 children have died each year after being left alone in a motor vehicle. Already in 2014, the NHTSA is aware of two such deaths.

The NHTSA and Safe Kids Worldwide urges parents to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle -- even if the windows are open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on. Also, parents should check the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking away.
Parents can learn more about the "Look Before You Lock" campaign on the NHTSA's website.

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