Preventing Car Heatstroke Accidents
In Texas we strive to be number one in everything we do, although this is usually a good thing, there are some instances where it is not. In fact, there is one thing we should try to be last in, and that is infant car heatstroke deaths.
Sadly, in the state of Texas, historically more kids die in hot cars than in any other state in the country according to noheatstroke.org.
The hardest thing to accept about these tragedies is that all these deaths were preventable. We are not trying to place blame on anyone, even the best of parents and caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping child inside a car, causing injuries or death.
What we would like to do, is provide parents and caregivers with facts and tips to help avoid these unfortunate accidents. In May we celebrated National Sun Safety Week, which marks the beginning of summer. Instead of posting tips to enjoy your time in the sun safely, we would like to dedicate this article to preventing car heatstroke accidents so that all families can enjoy the summer months safely.
Did You Know?
- – Car interiors heat up faster than we think, with temperatures reaching 125°F in minutes.
- – 80% of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes
- – Cracking the windows does NOT help slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature
- – It doesn’t have to be scorching hot outside for a child to be in danger inside a vehicle, there have been fatal cases of car heatstroke in temperatures as low as 60°F.
- – A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body.
What is a Heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a medical emergency condition that can be fatal if it is not promptly and adequately treated. Heatstroke occurs when there is an increase in body temperature, and dehydration often accompanies it.
- – Body temperature above 104°F and red, hot, dry skin
- – There is sign of sweating
- – A throbbing headache
- – Rapid, strong pulse
- – Nausea or vomiting
- – Confusion
- – Agitation
- – Loss of consciousness
According to statistics, more than 55% of car heatstroke cases happen when parents or caregivers unknowingly leave a child in the car. Although parents think this is something that will never happen to them, everyday stresses and unexpected changes in routine can cause a loving parent to forget their child is asleep in the backseat.
Follow these safety tips to ensure your child is never left alone in a car:
- – Train yourself to open the back door of your vehicle whenever you exit it to make sure no one is there, an excellent way to do this is to leave something in the back seat, your purse, your phone, or laptop.
- – Keep one of your kid’s toys in their car seat and move it to the front of the car to remind yourself your child is with you.
- – Ask your child’s daycare or school to contact you whenever your child does not arrive on time.
Tips to prevent children from entering cars without you knowing:
- – Always keep your vehicles locked, even when they are in your driveway or garage.
- – Don’t leave your keys within reach of children.
- – If you can’t find your child, check the interior of every car nearby, they may have gone in to play or take a nap.
Image Source: Noheatstroke.org
Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency
At Altus Emergency Centers, we care about your child’s safety and well-being, being vigilant and extra cautious can save your child from dying from heatstroke. Please keep in mind that all of our Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7, with no lines.