It’s summertime and the weather is fine. Enjoy your vacations and the outdoors but beware of the dangers that come along with warmer weather. Here’s what you need to know about summer car heating.
Heat Stroke and Summer Cars
Each year, over 30 children die in overheated vehicles. The majority of these deaths are due to caregivers that forget children are in the vehicle. Other circumstances include kids playing in cars unattended and children that are intentionally left in the car. Most of the vehicular heat stroke deaths involve children under 3 years old.
Symptoms of heatstroke and hyperthermia include dizziness, rapid or slow heartbeat, extreme sweat or cold clammy skin, confusion and agitation.
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Know the Facts:
- A child’s body does not control internal temperature the same way adults do. In fact, a child’s body temperature can warm 3 to 5 times faster.
- Cars overheat quickly. Even on a 70℉ day, a car can heat up to 89℉ after ten minutes. After a half hour, the interior of the car can heat to 104℉ —the same temperature at which heat stroke (hyperthermia) occurs.
- Pets can also overheat in cars—even 10 minutes stuck in the car can lead to heat exhaustion and death.
- Heat stroke is completely preventable. Don’t ever leave your child or pet behind in the car.
- Twenty states already have unattended child laws that specifically address children left alone in vehicles.
- Vehicles heat up the most in the first 15 minutes, jumping 19℉ in interior temperature when in direct sunlight.
Tips to Follow:
Since 1998, there have been over 679 children who have died from heatstroke deaths. Take precautions to avoid the dangers of summer car heating today. You may think that you’re only running into the store or the house for a minute, but that can make all the difference on whether or not your child or pet survives.
- Look before you lock your car. Develop the habit of always checking the back seat before getting out of your vehicle.
- If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 or the police. On a warm summer day, every minute counts.
- Don’t allow children to play in or near vehicles. They may become trapped. Keep your car locked and windows up so that children can’t get inside without your knowledge.
- Create reminders so that you don’t forget about a napping child in the backseat. Write notes for yourself, or place objects in the front or backseat. For example, placing a phone in a back seat pocket may remind you to look in the rear of the vehicle before exiting. Try out a reminder that works best for you and your family.
- You can also set a daily alarm on your cell phone to be sure you dropped your child off at daycare, brought them inside after work, etc. Many stressed-out parents have accidently left children in the backseat because they were distracted. Often, a change in routine causes the accident.
- Don’t treat heatstroke yourself. Always seek professional help.
Heat stroke is preventable. Follow these tips today to keep your children and pets safe!
Wondering about what summer heat can do to your vehicle? Check out these car care tips for the summer weather.