Following the death of a 3-year-old girl who died of heatstroke in a school bus, a child care facility in Japan is holding drills to teach children how to sound the horn if they are left alone in a vehicle.
The Musashino Junior College-affiliated child care center in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, included the drill in its annual traffic safety class to teach children how to seek help by themselves in case of emergency.
Along with their guardians, 42 children participated in the drill on Sept. 12.
Sayama Police Station officers first taught the children with a model steering wheel. They were told to keep sounding the horn with their “butt or a water bottle” until an adult comes along.
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The children were also given the opportunity to sound the school bus’ horn by sitting on the steering wheel. Participants are expected to complete the safety class by Sept. 16.
“My child is usually told not to touch the steering wheel, but I felt relieved that we could have this kind of experience,” a mother told the Mainichi Shimbun.
China Kawamoto, 3, died from heatstroke on Sept. 5 after she was left behind in a locked school bus for about five hours at Kawasaki Yochien, a certified childcare facility. In July 2021, a 5-year-old boy also died after being left alone in a nursery school bus in Fukuoka Prefecture.
The Japanese government is in the process of conducting emergency inspections of nursery schools that use school buses. They plan to compile emergency countermeasures in October.