On Average Every 10 Days A Child Dies From Vehicle Heat Stroke
Children are much more likely to suffer heat strokes when trapped in a vehicle than adults.
According to the safer.gov website, child’s body temperature can heat up to 5 times faster than an adult.
Here are some startling facts I discovered from this website.
- Many believe it has to be very hot outside for heat strokes to occur, this is not true.
- Outside temperature can be in the 60’s and a car can heat up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit .
- And heat strokes can occur when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees.
There was a study that reviewed the elapsed time and temperature rise in an unattended vehicle. Regardless of the starting temperature of the ambient air (outside temperature), the study found 80% of the temperature rise occurred during the first 30 minutes.
- 10 minutes ~ 19 degrees Fahrenheit
- 20 minutes ~ 29 degrees Fahrenheit
- 30 minutes ~ 34 degrees Fahrenheit
- 60 minutes ~ 43 degrees Fahrenheit
- 1 to 2 hours ~ 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit
Let’s put this into a medical perspective.
Heat Stroke occurs when a person’s temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit at which point their thermoregulatory mechanism is overwhelmed.
When the core body temperature reaches 107 degrees Fahrenheit it is considered lethal as internal organs shut down.
Eliminate Disaster With These Prevention Tips
This may seem like common sense but it happens, never leave a child in a vehicle alone even for a few minutes. Temperatures rise very quickly in a vehicle, close to 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes as referenced above.
Here are simple tips to protect our children from heat stroke.
- Repeat, Never Leave a child unattended in a vehicle
- Put a stuffed animal in your child seat when it is not in use, move it to the front seat when the child is in the seat as a reminder, or your purse/briefcase in the back seat as a reminder.
- When you exit the vehicle check every seat, front and back
- It’s advisable when you exit the vehicle, especially on hot days to place a windshield shade in the front and back windows to help reduce the interior temperature of the vehicle
- If you see a child in vehicle unattended call 9-1-1. 20 states (Texas) have laws against this according to the study referenced above.
- Make sure all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading and especially be watchful of sleeping babies.
- Always lock your car and make sure children do not have access to keys or remote control devices.
Finally, always make it a habit when exiting the vehicle to look inside before leaving the area.
These tragic deaths are completely preventable, let’s work together to be extra careful when we are transporting our young children.