We’ve all seen the news stories about children dying in hot cars that just breaks our hearts. Knowing that those deaths were 100% avoidable is absolutely the saddest part of those stories.
Heat-Related Car Deaths
Nearly 700 children have died as a result of being left in a vehicle during hot weather months since 1998. This means 20-40 children die each and every year. These deaths are 100% avoidable and it is important to take precautions to ensure you do not lose a loved one prematurely.
It is also important to be on the lookout for deaths you can prevent simply by being observant. If you see a child left in a hot car, call for help immediately.
Even on a milder temperature day, remaining in a deactivated vehicle can pose serious health risks. On a typical 80 degree day, it takes only ten minutes for the interior temperature of the car to reach about 100 degrees. It doesn’t take much longer for the vehicle to reach temperatures that would be considered unsafe for any individual for any period of time.
Follow these tips to avoid injury or death to yourself or a loved one:
- Check every seat before leaving your vehicle at each stop. 54% of children that died from heat in their vehicle died because their caretaker “forgot” them in the vehicle. Even if your child accompanies you all the time, check every seat at every stop.
- If you or another adult are staying in the vehicle at a stop, leave the car running with the adult in the driver’s seat. Even with the windows open, and full-grown adult can still fall victim to the effects of hypothermia, which is the case of the body being overexposed to high temperatures for an extended duration.
- Leave pets at home or with an alternate caretaker. Many establishments do not allow pets, so leave them at home or with a friend or family member. Never leave them in your vehicle!