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7/8/21blog post

a hot car death in our own community

Last week we learned the unfortunate passing of one-year-old girl due to heatstroke in a hot car in St. Mary's, Ohio. This death marks the seventh in the U.S. this year due to heat stroke. The incident took place on a day where the temperature was 86 degrees outside.

Even though it may feel nice outside, cars can heat up 19 degrees in as little as 10 minutes."

“Children’s bodies can’t handle this heat and their organs begin to shut down quickly, leading to serious health consequences, including death,” says Alexa Wene, injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children’s.

As temperatures continue to rise this summer, Dayton Children’s reminds you to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. This past year we have all learned to adapt to the pandemic, but with the world opening back up, routines may be ever-changing. More than half of the deaths from hot vehicles were children who were forgotten by a caregiver.   

Here are a few tips to prevent heatstroke:

  • Place an important object like a cell phone or purse in the back seat of the car, when you go to retrieve the item, you will see your child in the back seat.
  • Never leave a child alone in the car for any reason, even if the windows are cracked.
  • Lock car doors when the car is unattended, children can get trapped in cars while playing outside. 
  • To prevent heatstroke, remember to ACT:
    • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.  
    • Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child. 
    • Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations.

“Even as life picks back up, it is important to remember to check your back seat after every ride,” says Wene, “Following these tips could save a child’s life.”

For more information about heatstroke visit:


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Katie Solovey
public relations manager