In the span of this hot weather streak, we all need a quick refresher and reminder about how quickly children can suffer from heatstroke if left in a hot car. Every summer, there are multiple occasions where children are left in hot cars for a myriad of “excuses” by adults. In 2014 alone there have been 18 deaths of children related to heatstroke obtained by being left alone in a hot car.
Here are some things you must know:
No matter how brief – there are no exceptions! Some adults may think that taking the child in/out of their car seat is cumbersome and they are correct, even if it for what they believe is a “quick stop”. But, remember – the stakes are too high! The car temperatures can get very hot in a very short period of time. There is no safe amount of time to leave children alone in a car. (Did you know? In 10 minutes a car can heat up 20+ degrees Fahrenheit. Even if it is only 60 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to approximately 110 degrees. “Cracking” the windows does very little to keep the car cool.)
A few minutes can be fatal. Many adults leave children in the car inadvertently due to a lack of understanding about how quickly children become sick from the heat. Even just a few minutes in the heat is dangerous and can be fatal for a small child. (A child’s body temperature increases 5 times as fast as an adult’s, and a child dies when his temperature reaches 107 degrees Fahrenheit.)
If you see a child of any size alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately! If the child is in distress due to the heat get them out of the situation as quickly as possible. A child’s life depends on you.
Become vigilant about looking in the vehicle before locking the car door and walking away. A few moments may just save a child’s life.