Did you know that your car will get hot enough to bake cookies when it is only 82 degrees outside?
As temperatures climb we need to be aware that temperatures can reach over 130 degrees on an 82 degree day in just a few minutes.
A sad trend is that in the last 10 years over 700 children have died of heat stroke while being left unattended in hot cars or getting into cars on their own.
Leaving your car idling with air conditioning on or windows cracked is not effective at cooling your car’s interior. A young child’s body is not able to regulate its internal temperature like adults do. This causes a child’s body temperature to rise 3 to 5 times faster than an adult, making them more vulnerable to heat stroke.
This video (click here) demonstrates how quickly the temperature can increase in a parked car during the heat of the summer. In the matter of minutes a parked car reaches 126 degrees and objects like crayons, cookies, chapstick, and pizza are melted.
A few quick tips to prevent tragedy:
- Keep cars locked and keys out of reach.
- Teach kids that cars are not toys; do not allow them to play in your car.
- Create reminders on your phone to drop children off at daycare providers.
- Keep something valuable like your left shoe, a cell phone or a purse by baby’s car seat, so you will be more likely to remember to look in the back seat.
- Get in the habit of looking in the back seat; make sure everyone is out and valuables stored out of sight…”LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK!!”
- Encourage people to ask about your children if they are not with you. Ask daycare providers to call you if your child is not dropped off by a certain time.
- If you use a car seat cover that attaches to an infant car seat handle make sure you remove it for summer, so you will be able to see your child more easily.
Primary Children’s Hospital has a FAQ blog post about heatstroke in children and other heat related questions parent have.
What should you do if you see a child alone in a hot car?
Look at your surroundings to see if the child’s parents are nearby. If not, call 911 and follow their instructions.
From the Car Seat Team at McKay-Dee Hospital. Call 801-387-7800 for a free car seat check.