As the weather heats up, this blog post is for all parents, not just those with babies.
Do. Not. Leave. Your. Child. In. The. Car.
Each year, approximately 38 children die from overheating because they were left in a car during warm months.
That’s 38 too many.
So far this year, and it’s only April, two children have died from heat-related deaths in cars.
Parents and caregivers, this is 100 percent preventable.
Do not leave your child in the car, period.
It doesn’t matter if you crack the windows; the car will still get too hot. On an 80-degree day, the interior temperature of the car will reach 123 degrees in only one hour.
Heatstroke is defined as when a person’s temperature exceeds 104° F, and their thermoregulatory mechanism is overwhelmed and cannot continue to function properly.
Symptoms of heatstroke include dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizures, hot dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat and hallucinations.
When the core body temperature reaches 107 degrees, cells are damaged, and internal organs begin to fail and will rapidly lead to death. This happens three to five times faster in children, who cannot regulate their body temperatures as effectively as an adult.
In 54 percent of cases where a child died of heatstroke, their caregiver “forgot” them in the car.
In an additional 24 percent of cases, a child was playing in the car and could not get out.
Teach your children to never, ever play in the car. If they are in the car, you must be in the car with them.
Develop a system of double-checking the car before you leave and lock it. Some adults place their shoe or purse in the backseat, so they have to look in the back before exiting the vehicle.
If you see a child of any age in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately and take measures to get them out of the car.