I’m shocked every time it happens, a child dies in a hot car. It’s already happened five times this summer and it’s only June. Dozens of children die in the horrific manner every year, and untold others narrowly escape death but can be left with blindness, loss of hearing, permanent brain injury, and more, it’s time we stop these senseless deaths.
But why are these kids dying? According to a study of media reports from 1998 through 2014 (source http://www.noheatstroke.org/, 53% were forgotten by a caregiver and 29% of the deaths were caused by kids playing in unattended vehicles. Even sadder. 17% of the children who died were intentionally left in the car by and adult and while they may not have intended to kill them, that was the result.
The states of Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, and Oklahoma. are the top ten in heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles children being left, or gaining access to, parked cars. But it can happen anywhere.
As the chart above shows, there’s no safe time to leave your kids in the car. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that when left in the sun, your vehicle’s inside temperature can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minute. That means even on a 60-degree day, the interior of your car can reach 80 degrees within minutes. Left longer, the temperature can reach 110 degrees increasing a child’s body temperature to life threating levels. A child will die when his/her temperature reaches 107 degrees.
Heatstroke Tragedies are 100% Preventable: Kids in Hot Cars
Tips from the NHTSA to Stop Children from Dying in Hot Cars
We agree with the NHTSA that these deaths are 100% preventable so we’ve created this graphic as well as a downloadable and printable pdf file with their tips for keeping kids safe. Share it with your spouse, your child’s caregiver, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and anyone who might have a chance to practice these tips and save a life.
Heatstroke Tragedies: It’s Up to You
All of these tips are great, but the number one thing parents and caregivers need to do is be present. That means turning off the tech, leaving the thoughts of work or stress at home for later, and being aware of what you’re doing. Sadly, statistics show that on average four more children will die this way over the next two weeks. That’s a sobering thought. Do whatever it takes to make sure your child isn’t one of them.