on National Heatstroke Prevention Day, learn to ACT fast to save a child’s life
eleven children have died this year in hot cars
Every ten days in the United States a child dies in a hot car. So far in 2015, eleven children have fallen victim to heatstroke (also known as hyperthermia). Even with seemingly mild weather, the temperatures inside a car can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, making them more susceptible to heatstroke.
“Heatstroke occurs which the body loses its ability to regulate its own temperature,” says Patricia Abboud, MD, pediatric intensivist at Dayton Children’s and a member of the Dayton Children’s Dr. Mom Squad. “If left untreated, body temperature can soar to 106º F (41.1º C) or even higher, leading to brain damage or even death. Prompt medical treatment is essential to bring the body temperature under control.”
On National Heatstroke Prevention Day, Dayton Children’s and Safe Kids Greater Dayton want to remind you that together, we can reduce the number of heatstroke deaths and close calls by remembering to ACT.
- A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it, so kids don’t get in on their own.
- C: Create reminders by putting something on the backseat of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
- T: 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. One call could save a life.
- Children die as a result of being left unattended in a vehicle in one of three ways:
- 53% - child was “forgotten” by caregiver.
- 29% - child was playing in an unattended vehicle and became trapped.
- 17% - child was intentionally left alone when a parent runs a quick errand.
- Since 1998, more than 635 children nationwide have died after being trapped in a hot car.
- An average of 37 children die every year.
- For every child who dies, hundreds more are rescued.
“These tragedies are absolutely heartbreaking, and a reminder for all of us to be aware of the dangers of leaving a child alone in a car,” says Jessica Saunders, director for Dayton Children’s Center for Child Health and Wellness. “Many people are shocked to learn how hot the inside of a car can actually get and cracking the window doesn’t help.”
For more safety information, please visit www.safekids.org.
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