In the Heat, Check the Seat
In 2015, William Mattar law offices launched In the Heat Check the Seat to raise awareness of heatstroke-related injuries children and animals experience as a result of being left in hot motor vehicles. Since the campaign’s inception, car accident attorney William Mattar has distributed thousands of free safety decals to the community that serve as a reminder to parents and caregivers to always check the backseat for children and pets before exiting a motor vehicle. Leaving a child or pet in your vehicle during hot weather can be deadly and checking the seat could prevent a tragedy.
William Mattar wants to help keep your children and pets safe this summer. Parents, caregivers and local businesses may fill out the form below to request FREE In the Heat Check the Seat safety decals.
The In the Heat decal should be placed where it will be visible when exiting your vehicle (dashboard, console, driver side door, or lower left widow corner) but not interfere with driver view. This decal is a reminder to never leave a child or a pet behind, especially on a hot day. Temperatures can become deadly in minutes under certain circumstances.
This simple reminder may save a precious life. Together we can help keep our children and pets safe.
*Supplies are limited. Request your decals today! (Decals available to the states we service (NY, PA). We will gladly grant decal requests to other U.S. states if supplies are available).
Tips to keep your children and pets safe this summer:
- Make sure all children and pets have exited the car after you arrive at your destination. As a reminder to check before leaving your motor vehicle, place an item you will need in the back seat, such as a wallet, purse, or cell phone.
- Do not leave an infant in a car just because they are asleep.
- Before securing your child in a car seat, always check that the surfaces and safety buckles are not too hot. In high temperatures, metal and plastic material can heat up enough to burn your child’s skin.
- Never leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle, even if it is not a hot day. They could unintentionally put the vehicle in gear, causing it to move or roll forward.
- Make sure to always lock your car and keep the key’s out of your child’s reach. They could potentially lock themselves in the trunk, or hurt themselves or others, by playing in or around a vehicle.
- Call 911 if you see a child alone in a car. Emergency personnel are professionally trained to handle these situations and want you to contact them first.
What is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a condition that occurs when a person’s body overheats due to a prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures and is most common during the summer months. A person suffering from heatstroke requires emergency treatment; the longer treatment is delayed increases the risk of serious complications or death. If left untreated, heatstroke can damage your heart, muscles, brain, and kidneys. When a person’s body temperature reaches 104 F or higher is when the most serious form of heatstroke injury can occur.
Heatstroke Injury Facts:
- Each year there are approximately 39-heatstroke deaths in children under the age of 15 after being left in a hot car.
- With an outside temperature of 72 F, the internal vehicle temperature can reach up to 117 F within 60 minutes. Approximately 80 percent of a vehicle’s internal temperature increase happens within the first 30 minutes.
- Young children are at a higher risk, as their bodies heat up to three to five times faster compared to an adult.
- Cracking a window does not help to lower the car’s internal temperature.
- For dog owners, brachycephalic (or short-snouted) dog breeds, such as boxers, pugs, bull dogs, etc., are more vulnerable to heatstroke.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of heatstroke in people include:
- A throbbing headache.
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- A change in your sweat. If heatstroke caused by vigorous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist. If heatstroke caused by hot weather, your skin may feel hot and dry to the touch.
- The main sign is a core body temperature of 104 F or higher.
- Your skin may turn red or become flushed as your body temperature increases.
- Heat stress may cause your heart to race and your pulse to increase to help cool down your body.
- Heatstroke may cause a person to suffer from slurred speech, confusion, seizures, agitation, coma, irritability, or delirium.
- It may cause your breathing to become rapid and shallow.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of the above heatstroke symptoms, contact 911 or seek immediate medical attention. While waiting for emergency services to arrive, the Mayo Clinic suggests beginning to help the overheated person to cool down by:
- Remove additional clothing;
- Get the person into the shade or indoors;
Try to cool the person down however possible. Spray them with a garden hose, place a cold, wet towel or ice packs on the person’s neck, armpits, head, and groin, put them into a cool shower or tub of water, fan while misting with cool water, or sponge with cool water.
Don’t forget your furry friends! Symptoms of heatstroke in animals such as dogs may include:
- Drooling or salivating;
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing;
- Agitation and restlessness;
- Vomiting; and