Heatstroke Prevention

Stay Well

Every year, children die of hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke, while unattended in vehicles. The number of near-misses – children rescued before a fatality – is significantly higher. To help prevent these tragic and unnecessary deaths.

“Whether you are a parent or caregiver, or just a concerned bystander, you can help save lives,” says Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “We are urging everyone to ACT: Avoid hyperthermia-related deaths by never leaving your child alone in a car and always locking doors and trunks; Create reminders and habits for you and your child’s caregivers to serve as a safety net to ensure you don’t forget your child; and Take action if you see a child unattended in a vehicle by immediately calling 911.”

What is Heatstroke?

  • Heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children.
  • It occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels.
  • Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.
  • When a child’s internal temperature gets to 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down. And when that child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.
  • Because of this, and because cars heat up so quickly – 19 degrees in 10 minutes – tragedies can happen faster than you think.
  • Symptoms can quickly progress from flushed, dry skin and vomiting to seizures, organ failure and death.
  • Heatstroke deaths have been recorded in 11 months of the year in nearly all 50 states.

Top Safety Tips

Heatstroke can happen anytime. Anywhere. Safe Kids wants everyone to ACT.

  • A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
  • C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
  • T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

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