23 children in the US have died this year of heatstroke as a result of being left alone in a vehicle.

Sunday, July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Kira Huck with the Safe Kids Coalition says heatstroke deaths are completely preventable.

"Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle-related death for children in the United States," Huck said. "It is preventable, and preventable injury is the number one cause of death for children in the United States."

Huck says Safe Kids uses the acronym A C T to remind parents and caregivers about how to prevent heatstroke.

"A: That stands for Avoid," she said. "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 stands for create, that is to create reminders by putting something you need to take with you in the back seat next your child's car seat, so that you won't forget.. T stands for take action. If you see a child alone in a car, take action. Call 9-1-1, because law enforcement and fire personnel are trained in how to respond in that type of situation. Your call could save a child's life."

Huck said that cars heat rapidly, and it doesn't have to be a hot summer day for a child to be severely injured through heatstroke. In one case, a death occurred when the outside temperature was only 52 degrees.

No children have yet died in Montana due to heatstroke, and Safe Kids is hoping to keep it that way.

For details, call 926-2522, or visit the Safe Kids website. 

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