Summer temperatures are on the rise, and with those come the risk of heat stroke resulting in brain damage and death from children being left in hot cars.
Did you know that Texas leads the nation in hot car deaths? Every year an average of 10 children in Texas die this way, and many more are rescued just in time.
More than half of the incidents are unintentional, when a parent is transporting the child outside of their typical routine, says Molly Bloomfield, an Injury Prevention specialist at Children’s Medical Center.
A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and according to SafeKids Worldwide, on an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car can rise 19 degrees in 10 minutes.
That means that in a matter of minutes, leaving a child in a car on a warm day could be fatal.
5 Tips to Prevent Hot Car Deaths
- Place your cell phone, briefcase, purse or other important item in the backseat before driving to your destination. This will get you in the routine of checking the backseat every day.
- Establish a peace-of-mind plan. When you drop off your child, make a habit of calling or texting all other caregivers, so all of you know where your child is at all times.
- Thirty percent of the deaths in the U.S. have occurred when a child climbed into an unlocked vehicle. Before getting out of the car, check to be sure everyone is out and lock all doors.
- Communicate planned absences with daycare providers. Ask them to call you if your child does not arrive on time, and they have not heard from you.
- If you see a child alone in a car, dial 911 immediately.