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Health Department to Distribute Free Car Hangtags to Help Prevent Heat-Related Child Deaths

Free car hangtags are being distributed by the Weakley County Health Department and across the state to remind motorists to check for babies in the back seat and help prevent heat-related child deaths in cars. (L to R) Weakley County Health Department team members include Chelsea White, Lisa Brandon, RN and Jackie Laws.

NASHVILLE – The office of the Secretary of State partnered with the Department of Health to distribute free car hangtags to help prevent heat-related child deaths in cars while making it easier to register to vote.

The Department of Health received 150,000 hangtags to distribute through regional Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics. Clients of Tennessee WIC clinics have the opportunity to receive a free hangtag.

According to Shelley Walker, Director of Office of Communication and Media Relations for the Department of Health, the Weakly County Health Department received the car hangtags August 26.

“We’re grateful for this partnership with Secretary Hargett to help save children’s lives,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “These hangtags are a simple way to remind caregivers never to leave children in vehicles during hot weather.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children dying from heatstroke in cars, either because they were left or trapped, has increased in recent years. In Tennessee, it is illegal to leave a child unattended in a car.

The hangtags will be distributed statewide through partnerships with the Department of Health, the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett worked with Representative Scott Cepicky and the Tennessee General Assembly to create these hangtags designed to increase voter registration and help save children’s lives

“It’s hard to imagine losing a child and even more so when it could have been prevented,” said Secretary Hargett. “Our office created these hangtags to help prevent these tragic deaths, while providing another easy way to register to vote.”

The office of the Secretary of State created 500,000 hangtags with a QR code that, with one click, takes Tennesseans to the Online Voter Registration system and reminds drivers to check the back seat for children before leaving a parked car.

To learn more about the program, contact the Secretary of State’s office at 615-741-2819.

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