There have been growing concerns about how dangerous it is to leave kids in hot cars in the aftermath of many reports of deaths associated with this. Kids in hot cars are actually a cause for deadly concern reported Science Daily on July 31, 2014. Over the past 20 years about 700 kids have lost their lives in the United States as a result of being left in or playing in a hot car. The most recent count shows the total in the United States this year is 18.
National Heat Stroke Prevention Day on July 31 was a way to raise awareness about this largely preventable danger to kids reports Penn State Hershey Newsroom. Shannon DePatto, who is the health educator for the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Dauphin County, says the cause of these deaths is generally attributable to heat stroke. When the body rapidly increases in temperature heat stroke can occur.
DePatto said that at 104 degrees internally the body starts shutting down its organs. When this internal temperature goes above 104 degrees a child could possibly die from the heat stroke. A child’s body temperature is capable of rising three to five times faster than an adult’s. Furthermore, a twenty degree rise in temperature inside a vehicle can occur in less than ten minutes. Even when the windows are rolled down the internal temperature of the vehicle increases dramatically over a very short period of time.
In order to help prevent the tragedy of kids dying in hot cars parents and care givers should always remember that a car is not a toy. Children should be taught that the car is not a toy and should only used for transportation. Doors to your car should always be kept locked when the car is not being used.
Kids should not be placed in the front seat of a car in a playful manner. Instead they should be told the car is not an area where we play hide and seek. It should be stressed the car isn’t a place where we become curious and pretend as if we can drive. Kids should also be discouraged from leaving toys around or in the car or playing near it. Making certain kids are told that the car is off limits may help prevent them from ever going near the car alone.
A realization of how dangerous it is to leave kids in a car for even a short time should alert you to never leave your child in a car. It sometimes appears just running into a store and back to the car quickly couldn't cause any harm. But unfortunately even this could turn out to be deadly.