Children and pets die each year due to being left in a hot car. These types of deaths shouldn’t be happening since heat-related deaths are 100-percent preventable.
Nationally, 42 children died in 2017 from heatstroke. About 51-percent were caused by parents who accidentally left their kids in a hot car. Another 30-percent died after gaining access to an unlocked car and becoming trapped. Sadly, 17-percent of children died after being intentionally left in a hot car due to parents running a quick errand or going into a store for a few minutes.
It takes only 10 minutes for a 19-degree increase and 20 minutes for the temperature to rise 29 degrees. On top of that, a child’s body temp rises up to five times faster than adults.
Even leaving a window down isn’t enough to prevent heat-related deaths. Always check to make sure all kids and pets are out of the car and always make sure you lock your vehicle to make sure kids can’t get back in to play. Make sure to also check the trunk.
Arizona set a record last year for the most heat-related deaths. Including adults and kids, 155 people died in 2017.
A new study is out that was done by ASU and the University of California San Diego. Researchers measured heat inside economy cars, mid-sized sedans, and small minivans. Three cars were parked in the shade and three in the sun over a course of 10 days. The study found larger vehicles took longer to heat up.
Researchers also looked at the health consequences of a 2-year-old child stuck inside a car. They found that a child trapped in a hot car could start to show signs of serious heat illness within an hour. At 104 degrees, internal damage starts. The study also shows that even with a car parked in the shade, a child can die within two hours.
Pets and Heat
When it comes to pets, animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. It’s extra tough for dogs to beat the heat since they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.
Hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion from being left in hot cars each year.
To help you remember you have a child or pet in a car, establish reminders such as leaving your purse, lunch, cell phone, or briefcase in the backseat next to the child’s car seat or where your pet likes to sit.
Again, heat-related deaths are 100% preventable!