ACH Injury Prevention Center Honored for Children’s Book Educating Families about Risks of Hot Cars

A children’s board book created, designed, and published by the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Injury Prevention Center has been recognized as a global model for injury prevention education, receiving a silver award from the International Safety Media Awards at the Safety 2018 World Conference in Bangkok.

Not Even a Minute was designed to teach parents and caregivers about hot car deaths and how they can be prevented. The 16-page board book written by ACH Injury Prevention Center Outreach Coordinator Joe Schaffner and author Sarah Tollett shares the story of a family getting ready for the day and all the ways they remind themselves to never leave the baby alone in a car, not even a minute.

The father leaves a briefcase in the backseat as a reminder to turn to the back seat when he leaves the car. He also checks on the baby in the rearview mirror and talks to a daycare worker when he runs late for drop-off. On each page, the book reinforces key prevention strategies, urging families to create reminders, developing daycare contact plans and teaching children not to play in cars.

In the United States, between 1998 and 2017, nearly 750 children died from heatstroke while being left alone in a hot car. About 37 children die each year in the United States because of heatstroke while left in hot vehicles.

The books were distributed to six Arkansas daycares as part of a pilot project. Each family in those daycares received a book to take home and read with their children, as well as a toolkit that included a window cling and prevention tips. Nearly 1,000 families received the materials.

“This project underscores the difference we can make by opening the dialogue about hot car deaths,” said Mary Aitken, MD, director of the Arkansas Children’s Injury Prevention Center and a professor of pediatrics in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine. “We are thrilled that organizations from other nations are seeing how they can apply this program to save even more lives.”