In Policy, Public Health

With temperatures recorded in the nineties this week, it is important to take precautions to avoid heatstroke.  July 31, 2020 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling on the public to help prevent children from dying in hot cars this summer. 

Some Facts: 

  • In 2019, 52 children died of vehicular heatstroke because they were left in a hot car or became trapped in a hot car. 
  • In just 20 minutes a car can heat up by 20 degrees and become deadly.  Remember to Park, Look and Lock. 
  • A child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s temperature. 
  • Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees. 
  •  A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal. 

Everyone Can Help Prevent Car Deaths: 

  • Never leave a child in a car unattended. 
  • Check your entire vehicle before locking the door and walking away.  Train yourself to ParkLook and Lock. 
  • Ask the child care provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up for child care. 
  • Place a personal item in the back seat as another reminder to look before you lock. 
  • Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you a child is in the back seat. 
  • If you see a child in a locked car, get him out immediately and call 911 if he is not responsive. 
  • Always lock your car doors and trunk, year-round, so children cannot get into unattended vehicles. 
  • Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area. 

Here is an inspiring and hopeful story about a 12 year old girl who won $20,000 for inventing a device to help prevent hot car deaths:  ABC’s Good Morning America 

With young minds like Lydia’s working on solutions, maybe children’s hot car deaths will be zero in the future, 


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