Child vehicular heatstroke is a serious issue for parents and kids alike. It can happen to anyone, anywhere. To make matters worse, it can happen quicker than many of us realize. As temperatures begin to rise, Life Saver Pool Fence would like to remind everyone of the risk of death caused by heatstroke to children trapped inside hot cars.
Heatstroke is a medical condition caused when a person’s body simply overheats. This often happens after your body is exposed to high temperatures. It is absolutely worth worrying about, since vehicular heatstroke can cause irreparable damage to your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles.
As the name indicates, one of the most likely causes of vehicular heatstroke is being trapped in a hot automobile. Each year, roughly 37 children die from exactly this situation.
Since 1998, 743 children have died due to vehicular heatstroke. Children under the age of one are the most common victims, according to kidsandcars.org.
Vehicular Heatstroke Facts:
(These facts have been provided by the National Highway Traffic Administration.)
- It only takes 10 minutes for the temperature in a car rise 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cracking windows open and parking in the shade are not sufficient safeguards.
- A child’s body temperature rises 5 times faster than the average adult’s temperature.
- A child dies when their body reaches a 107 degree body temperature.
- On an 80 degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly peaks within ten minutes.
How Can This Happen?
You may be asking yourself how this can happen. In many cases, even the best parents can fall victim to this tragedy. In most cases the parent or driver:
- Is stressed or overwhelmed.
- has had a change in their routine (new car, new route, unexpected traffic).
- Forgets that the baby or toddler is sleeping in the backseat.
Parents and caregivers are often in a rush and believe that it will be okay to leave their child in the car “just for a minute.” Sadly, tragedy can strike more quickly than any of us can predict.
Tips for Preventing Child Vehicular Heatstroke
These tragedies have happened to the best of us. The following tips outline simple ways to keep your child safe from accidentally suffering this terrible fate.
- Never leave your child in the car unattended for even a minute in a vehicle. In most states, this is illegal.
- Lock your car and keep the keys away from children. Even when your children are inside the house.
- Never use the temperature outside to gauge whether or not you can leave your child in the car (with the window cracked open or not). Even if it’s in the 60s outside, your car can still reach up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep a reminder in the front seat that your child is in the car, such as a baby bag, stuffed animal, or bottle. Anything that reminds you of your child will help.
- Check the car before you lock up to ensure that everyone is out.
Emergency Planning Saves Lives
Staying vigilant is the smartest way to keep your child safe from heatstroke. Just like active supervision in the pool, parents always need to stay alert. The simple act of having an emergency plan in place can help you to avoid a disaster. For instance, if your child appears to be suffering from vehicular heatstroke, you will want to get them out of the hot car immediately. After all, it only takes 10 minutes for the temperature in an enclosed car to heat up 20 degrees, and the police or ambulance will not arrive right away.
Heatstroke is a dangerous foe, so beware a false sense of security. Fortunately, with care and preparation, we can limit its reach.