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Vehicle Hangtag Initiative to Prevent Child Heat-Related Deaths

Posted on September 8, 2020

Covenant Health Participates in Statewide “Where’s Baby?” Car Hangtag Initiative to Help Save Children From Heat-Related Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children dying from heatstroke in vehicles, either because they were trapped or left behind, is on the rise. On average, every 10 days, a child dies from heatstroke under these circumstances. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the vehicle.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett is visiting birthing and children’s hospitals including Covenant Health to announce a new initiative that distributes free vehicle hangtags to remind parents of the dangers of leaving children in hot cars. The hangtags also are equipped with a QR code that, with one click, takes Tennesseans to the Online Voter Registration system.

TN Legislators with Covenant Leaders present Vehicle Hangtag 2020
Secretary of State Tre Hargett with Tennessee legislators and leaders from Covenant Health at the announcement of the vehicle hangtag initiative. From left to right: Tre Hargett, TN State Secretary; Keith Altshuler, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center president and chief administrative officer; Patrick Birmingham, Covenant Health vice president of philanthropy and government relations; State Representative Rick Staples; Mike Belbeck, Covenant Health executive vice president of operations, Debbi Honey, Covenant Health chief nursing officer; Senator Becky Duncan Massey; Jeremy Biggs, Methodist Medical Center president and chief administrative officer; State Representative Jason Zachary; Neil Heatherly, Parkwest Medical Center president and chief administrative officer.

Jim VanderSteeg, President and CEO of Covenant Health, said, “This is a good reminder for new families. At our hospitals, where more than 8,000 babies were born just last year, we care about our very youngest patients.” VanderSteeg noted the importance of focusing on the safety of both individuals and our community at large.

Secretary Hargett noted, “Our office created hangtags that not only could be used to save a life of a child, but also provide an easy reminder to register to vote.” The side of the tag facing the driver reads “Where’s Baby?” and the back, facing the windshield to passersby reads, “Baby in the Back.”

More than 10,000 hangtags will be distributed at the Covenant Health hospitals where babies are delivered:

Cumberland Medical Center
Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
LeConte Medical Center
Methodist Medical Center
Morristown‐Hamblen Healthcare System
Parkwest Medical Center

At these six hospitals, 8,074 babies were delivered in 2019.

The hangtags initiative is in partnership with the Tennessee Hospital Association, Tennessee Department of Health’s county health departments, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and birthing and children’s hospitals across the state.

HangTag Poster
A poster board displays the front and back of the vehicle hangtag.