According to Safe Kids USA, on average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.
A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child’s temperature can rise quickly — and they could die within minutes!
- AVOID injury or death by never leaving your child in a car alone and always locking the doors and trunk of unattended vehicles. Teach kids not to play in cars.
- CREATE habits such as contacting other caregivers when you take your child to drop-off, placing other necessities (such as your purse or briefcase) in the seat next to your child or set a cellphone alarm as a reminder. Develop a plan with your daycare so that if your child is late, you’ll be called within a few minutes.
- TAKE action if you see an unattended child in a vehicle—call 911 immediately and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
Warning signs of hyperthermia include red, hot skin, no sweating, rapid pulse or a slow and weak pulse, nausea, confusion or strange behavior. If your child exhibits these symptoms after spending time outdoors or in a hot car, cool your child and call 911.