Pembroke Pines Prepared - Child Safety

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LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK: South Florida is known for it's great but very hot weather, which means we must all be aware of issues concerning pets and children that can arise due to rising heat, especially when it comes to our vehicles. Children and pets dying in hot cars is 100% preventable.  Even so, on average, 37 children die each year from heatstroke after being left in a hot car - and hundreds of pets are estimated to have met the same fate. Please remember that the inside of a vehicle heats up VERY quickly. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes. 80% of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes. Cracking the windows does not help slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature. Children have died from heatstroke in cars in temps as low as 60 degrees. To make sure no child is ever left in a car accidentally, please get into the habit of "Look Before You Lock" by checking the backseat of your car before locking up your vehicle.

A great way to remember to do this is by placing your purse, phone, or wallet in the backseat. Shocking as it may seem, people may have a better chance of remembering to take their Mobile Phone when they leave a car than they would their child or pet. Another reminder may be to keep a visual reminder in the front seat with you, such as a stuffed animal or dog leash.  Most importantly, have a policy in place with any childcare provider or daycare drop-off. If your child does not show up as scheduled, make sure that they have multiple contact numbers for you or nearby family members/friends. Also, if you are a passerby and you observe an unattended child, pet, or other endangered person inside a locked car that appears to be in distress, please call 911 immediately. If the person or animal seems in immediate danger, you can attempt to break a window. A recent 2016 bill makes it legal to break into locked vehicles to rescue pets or vulnerable people believed to be in imminent danger of suffocation or other harm.  However, commonsense should be used. Improperly breaking a window close to a child or pet could cause more harm than waiting for police to arrive.

#SAFERBY4 is a campaign to reduce preventable child deaths via safe sleep and drowning prevention.

LOCK IT UP! FOR GUN SAFETY: The Broward League of Women Voters, together with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, launched a program called The Lock It Up! Campaign, which distributes free gun locks to gun owners through pediatricians, local governments, police departments, and events, and encourages people to safely store their firearms. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gunshot wounds are the second most common cause of death among children. In the U.S., 4.6 million children live in homes with unsecured guns.The gun locks look like miniature bike locks with cable threads through the barrel or magazine of a gun—blocking the trigger.  It requires a key to unlock the firearm. To learn more about the campaign, please contact gunsafety@lwvbroward.org or call 954-735-1311.

Important Resource Links:

Raising Positive Children Forum on Recognizing the Signs of Cyber-bullying, Suicide and Depression (Oct. 2018)

Raising Positive Children Forum on Growing Up in the Digital Age (May 2018)

The National Safety Council

The Kids Safe Foundation