If you have to be told that “heat kills” maybe you shouldn’t be driving

Or having kids. That’s not to understate the tragedy of hyperthermia in parked cars, which kills at least 27 children every year. It’s the number-one, non-crash vehicle-related cause of death for of our nation’s kids, according to the Transportation Department.

But it begs the question: If our government has to tell us that “heat kills” — as it did this morning — then how close are we to achieving a nanny state?

The actual information provided by the federal government is practical, to the point of being painfully obvious:

Don’t leave a child unattended in a vehicle–whether the windows are open or closed, whether the air conditioner is running or not. Do not. Ever.

Teach your children that a car is not a place to play.

It’s great advice — but, wait, seriously? Drivers don’t know this?

For the parents who lack this common sense, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has even more helpful advice.

I’m conflicted about today’s announcement. On one hand, I think the government should tell its citizens how to prevent these and other tragedies. On the other hand, shouldn’t we already know this?

And those of us who don’t, do they have any business driving? Or even, having kids?

(Photo: Department of Transportation)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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