Parents urged to protect kids from car accidents, heat stroke - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Parents urged to protect kids from car accidents, heat stroke

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GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) -

With summer travel season rapidly approaching, Gastonia Police Officer Jackie Quinley is asking parents to make sure they are using the right car seats for their kids.

"The law states that children need to be rear-facing until they are one year old," Quinley said. "But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two years of age."

The law also states that children must be in a harness seat until they are 4 years old or 40 pounds. Additionally, kids need to be in a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 80 pounds.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among children ages one to 19.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.

Officer Quinley said accidents are not the only threat to young passengers.

Heatstroke is the number one cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under the age of 14, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Experts tell WBTV, within 10 minutes, the inside temperature of a vehicle can be up to 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.

Statistics show that 43 children in the United States died from heatstroke in 2013, after being left alone in a car.

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