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Donated stuffed animals to warn parents about dangers of leaving children alone in vehicles

News Release
7532 Wyoming St., Kansas City, Mo. 64114
Office: 816-216-7085, www.KidsAndCars.org
Janette Fennell, 484-278-4641, cell 415-336-9279 or Janette@KidsAndCars.org
Amber Rollins, 816-216-7085 or Amber@KidsAndCars.org
Susan Pepperdine, 913-262-7414, cell 913-205-5304 or susan@pepperdinepr.com
Donated stuffed animals to warn parents
about dangers of leaving children alone in vehicles
22 children have already died in hot vehicles in U.S. this year
Anchorage, Alaska – Kansas City, MO – July 20, 2013 – Nearly 3,000 stuffed animals and their transport have been donated by Anchorage, Alaska, businesses to KidsAndCars.org, a Kansas City-based national nonprofit child safety organization solely dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths of children in and around motor vehicles. 
PetSmart, in south Anchorage, donated the stuffed cat and dog toys. On Friday afternoon another Anchorage firm, Lynden Transport, loaded the toys onto a truck and is providing free shipment by steamship to their warehouse in Fife, Wash., near Tacoma.
KidsAndCars.org will coordinate distribution to hospital birthing centers in the lower 48. Volunteers will attach KidsAndCars.org’s “Look before you lock”™ safety information cards with tips to avoid
unknowingly leaving a child behind in a vehicle, including:
  • Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child – or pet – has been left behind. 
  •  Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the seat, move the stuffed animal to the front passenger seat as a visual reminder that your child is in the back seat.
  • Put something you’ll need on the floorboard in the back seat (cellphone, handbag, employee ID, briefcase, etc.)
  • Make arrangements with your daycare or babysitter to call you within 10 minutes if your child does not arrive as expected.
  • Never leave children alone in or around cars, not even for a minute. Instead, use drivethru services when available.
  • When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately. 
“The worst thing any parent or caregiver can do is think that this could never happen to them, that they are not capable of inadvertently leaving their child behind,” says Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org.
“This can and does happen to the most loving, responsible and attentive parents,” she added. ““All it takes is a lapse in memory when there’s a distraction or a change in routine or change in drivers.” Since the group began tracking data, at least 675 children have died in these preventable tragedies.
About KidsAndCars.org: Founded in 1996, KidsAndCars.org is a national nonprofit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and deaths of children in and around vehicles. KidAndCars.org promotes awareness among parents, caregivers and the general public about the dangers to children, including backover and frontover incidents, and heat stroke from being inadvertently left in a vehicle. The organization works to prevent tragedies through data collection, education and public awareness, policy change, product redesign and survivor advocacy.

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