Prevent Hot Car Deaths
This year, 40 children have died of heatstroke because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. It’s important for everyone to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke and that all hot car deaths are preventable. We — as parents, caregivers, and bystanders — play a role in helping to make sure another death doesn’t happen.
Know the Facts
- A child's body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child's temperature can rise in a quick and deadly manner.
- Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.
- A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.
- In 2018, 53 children died of vehicular heatstroke — the most in more than 20 years — according to NoHeatstroke.org.
8 Simple Steps to Prevent Heatstroke Deaths
- Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
- Make a habit of looking in the vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away.
- Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
- Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase 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 that a child is in the back seat.
- Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area, and store keys out of a child's reach.
- If you see a child alone in a locked car, get them out immediately and call 911.
- A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.