What Parents and Caregivers Need to Know About Hyperthermia or Heat Stroke
Did you know that a child’s body heats up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s? It only takes a few short minutes before a kid can become dangerously overheated.
Every year, more than 30 children die because they are left alone in a car. In just 10 minutes a car’s temperature can increase by 19 degrees and it continues to rise as time goes on. There is no evidence that cracking the windows helps keep a car cool. In fact, sunshine coming through car windows makes the car work like an oven.
Make it a point to never leave your child alone in a car, even for one minute. We know that it seems like an innocent act to leave a child in a back seat while you make a quick run into a store to pick up a few things; however, this is dangerous because it only takes a few minutes to put your child at risk. Make it a habit to check the back seat every time you exit and remember to Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car.
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Questions and Anwsers
At what age is it ok to leave children alone in a car for a few minutes as I run errands?
There is no safe way for you to leave a child of any age alone in a car-even for one minute. We have recorded deaths of children all the way up to age 13 who were overcome by heat in a car. The car can be a very scary place for a young child as it heats up quickly on a cool day. Think of it on a very hot day!
Also, children left alone in a car are vulnerable to car jacking, strangers who may be up to no good and a myriad of other dangers if they are unrestrained. Some children have been able to set cars in motion by releasing brakes and putting the car in gear. They have been entangled in seat belts and trapped in power windows. So make it a practice to Never Leave A Child Alone in a car.
This video shows how quickly temperatures inside of a car can increase, putting anyone inside of that car at risk of injuries or even death caused by hyperthermia.
Source: Jan Null, San Francisco State University
Video produced by General Motors