Every year, about 40 kids pass away from heatstroke as a result of being abandoned or getting stuck in a car. That is approximately one child killed in a hot car every ten days. It occurs multiple times a year, and it’s every parent’s unfathomable nightmare.
53 percent of hot car deaths are reported to be the result of a child being left unattended in a car, according to the US Department of Transportation.
Vehicular heatstroke doesn’t only happen in the summer; most of them are reported at that time of the year. Temperatures can rise rapidly, even on cool days. Furthermore, everyone should be aware that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke.
Referring to case studies, dozens of children die in the US every year after being left alone in parked cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 23 children perished in 2021 from vehicular heatstroke.
News outlets have reported on the deaths of at least ten children since May. These include a 1-year-old girl who was discovered unconscious in a hot car outside her father’s North Carolina workplace and a 5-year-old Texas boy who was left strapped in a car seat in his family’s driveway while his mother was getting ready for a party.
What happens if someone gets stuck in a hot car?
Your body attempts to cool itself when there is an excessive disparity between the temperature of the surrounding air and your typical body temperature.
One method it uses to do this is sweating, but in a hot car, there isn’t nearly enough airflow to allow sweat to function as a useful means of body cooling. When it comes to cars, the outside temperature is not always a reliable indicator of what’s going on inside. The temperature inside a locked car can rise sharply in a matter of minutes.
The body will continue to sweat as heatstroke worsens until it becomes extremely dehydrated and is unable to use this cooling mechanism.
Your brain will swell, your organs will begin to fail, and your central nervous system will start to malfunction in the latter stages of heatstroke, which will ultimately result in a coma and death.
An adult’s body temperature rises three to five times more slowly than that of a child. A child’s body temperature can rise quickly when they are left in a car, which can quickly turn dangerous.
When the body temperature reaches approximately 104 degrees, heatstroke occurs. A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
Most importantly, it is possible for a baby or child to be compromised by heat without showing obvious symptoms, so heatstroke in children can occasionally go unnoticed at first.
How can you save a child from a hot car death?
Make sure to always look in the back seat of your vehicle before locking the doors. Never leave a child alone in a parked car. The interior temperature of the car is not significantly affected by rolling down the windows or parking in the shade. The body temperature of a child can rise three to five times quicker than that of an adult. Make sure a child is well and responsive if you spot them alone in a car.