In a 10 minute span, your car can heat up by 20 degrees.
With summer well underway, it is important to look at the facts and dangers behind heatstroke. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related fatalities for children ages 14 and under. In a 10 minute span, your car can heat up by 20 degrees.
That’s enough to kill a child left alone in a car.Let’s take a look at the facts:
- 719 children have died due to heatstroke since 1998 to present day.
- Of those 719 kids, 54% were forgotten by a caregiver. 28% were playing in a vehicle unattended. 17% were left intentionally by an adult. The remaining children died to unknown reasons.
- 39 kids died due to heatstroke in 2016. That’s a 63% increase from the year prior.
- 19 children have died in 2017 so far.
Children are at a higher risk than adults of dying from heatstroke in a hot car.
High body temperatures can cause permanent injury or death. Heatstroke begins when the core temperature reaches 104 degrees, and the thermoregulatory system becomes overwhelmed. Once the core temperature reaches 107 degrees, the situation becomes lethal.
Children are at a higher risk than adults of dying from heatstroke in a hot car. Fatalities have occurred in shaded areas where temperatures reached 80 degrees or less. Additionally, heatstroke can happen due to temperatures reaching as low as 57 degrees.
Some warning signs of heatstroke include:
- Red, hot, moist, or dry skin
- Throbbing headache
- No sweating
- Strong, rapid pulse, or a slow, weak pulse
- Grouchiness or strange behavior
3 things to remember:
- Never leave a child in an unattended vehicle.
- Look in the back seat every time you exit the car. Make it a habit.
- Always lock your car and keep the keys out of reach.