Kids in hot cars during the summer—it can be a deadly combination. Each year in the US, far too many children die or are seriously injured from heatstroke in hot vehicles.
Last week the federal government announced Heatstroke Prevention Day. According to reporter Tanya Mohn at Forbes.com, the goal was to raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke through public education.
So far this year, at least 24 children have died due to heatstroke from being left in a hot car. And each year an unknown number of kids left in hot vehicles suffer from permanent brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, and other serious injuries.
David Strickland is the director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He says “I’m deeply concerned that we will lose more children to a cause that is 100 percent preventable. If we can increase awareness of the dangers of heatstroke and spread easy-to-follow prevention tips, we can reduce the number of these incidents and their tragic consequences.”
What many people don’t know, is that heatstroke deaths and injuries often occur after children get into unlocked vehicles to play without their parents’ knowledge.
Incidents can also occur when parents or caregivers who are not used to transporting a child as part of their daily routine inadvertently forget a sleeping infant or child in the back of their vehicle.
By the way, a child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than that of an adult.
When outside temperatures are in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.
For more information on this issue, go to safekids.org and click “In and Around Cars.”
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.