Published July 17, 2015:
As temperatures soar so does the risk of heatstroke. Infants and children are especially at risk, as their body temperature can increase 3-5 times as fast as an adult. In as little as 10 minutes a car’s interior can heat up to deadly levels – even with the windows cracked 2 inches.
Every 8 days, on average, a child dies from heat stroke in a vehicle. What makes this especially tragic is that these deaths are preventable.
Remember to ACT to prevent heatstroke in cars:
AVOID In this hectic day and age we often find ourselves rushing from one activity to another. Make it a part of your everyday routine to take a second to double check your car. Account for all children in your care. Never leave a child alone in a vehicle – even if it’s a quick stop. Always keep your doors locked to prevent kids from getting in on their own.
CREATE REMINDERS: Find ways to remind yourself to make sure a child is never left behind in a vehicle. Place a purse or cellphone in the backseat. A stuffed animal in your view to help remind you that your child is in the carseat.
TAKE ACTION: Call 911 or your local emergency center if you see a child alone in a hot car. If the child appears to be in distress due to the heat, please get the child out of the vehicle quickly and cool them down.
Tragedies like these are completely preventable. We can all work together to keep kids safe from heatstroke. To learn more about preventing heatstroke in cars check out:
- Look Before You Lock Tip Sheet (Ver la hoja de consejos en Español).
- Children Left in Cars: Preventing Accidental Heatstroke. – Blog post from the US Dept of Health and Human Resource.
- Safe Kids Worldwide Website
- How hot can your car get? View this Video.
- Take this Quiz.
- Heart-wrenching Video. Content and trigger warning.
Resources: http://www.safekids.org/heatstroke; https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/look_before_you_lock_tips_july_2014_english.pdf; http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/interagency-projects/look-before-you-lock; http://www.safercar.gov/parents/InandAroundtheCar/heatstroke.htm;