With summer in full swing, warm weather makes it especially important for parents and caregivers to keep a close eye on the children in their care. In 2015, 24 children across the United States died from heatstroke after being left alone in superheated cars.
Although many people think that heatstroke can occur only when temperatures are in the 80s or 90s, a car’s interior temperature can reach 110 degrees F even when the outdoor temperature is in the 60s. A child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s temperature, making heat especially dangerous for children. In fact, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children 14 and younger.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 1998-2015, 661 children died after being left in overheated cars. Since 1998, approximately 54% of the children who died in superheated cars were forgotten in the vehicles; 17% were left intentionally by adults; and 29% gained access by themselves and became trapped.
To prevent children from gaining access to a parked vehicle, lock your car, keep the keys out of a child’s reach, and teach children not to play in an unattended vehicle. And, although it goes without saying, never leave a child unattended in a car. For more information about protecting children this summer, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Child+Safety+at+Parents+Central/Keeping+Kids+Safe+-+Hyperthermia+and+Heastroke