Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of non-crash-related fatalities among children. Vehicle heatstroke occurs when a child is left in a hot vehicle, allowing for the child’s temperature to rise in a quick and deadly manner. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees and the thermo-regulatory system is overwhelmed. A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal. Unfortunately, even great parents can forget a child in the back seat. Other risk factors include caregivers who aren’t used to driving kids, or whose routine suddenly changes.
Whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or bystander of a child left in a car, it’s vitally important to understand children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults.
- Look before you lock. Make it a habit to look before you lock, and try these tips to avoid putting children at risk of heatstroke.
- Keep your vehicle locked and keep your keys out of reach; nearly 3 in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle.
- TAKE ACTION if you notice a child alone in a car! Protecting children is everyone’s business—learn what to do if you see a child alone in a car.
What You Need to Know, Now.
- It is never okay to leave a child alone in or around a car for any reason.
- Even in cooler temperatures, your vehicle can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. An outside temperature in the mid-60s can cause a vehicle’s inside temperature to rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The inside temperature of your car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.
- Heatstroke does not only occur during the summertime or in the Sun Belt States. This deadly issue can occur at any time of year, in any weather condition, in any community—for any parent.
Too many children die from heatstroke after being left alone in hot cars. Caregivers need to know that a car can heat up in minutes, even on days that aren’t hot and sunny. It can happen to anyone. Don’t leave children in a car, even for a minute. Always Look Before You Lock.