Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Heatstroke

It's hot out, we are literally in the dog days of summer. One thing to be especially aware of during these hot summer days is the danger of heatstroke. Kids are especially susceptible to the heat, particularly when left in a hot car. Safercar.gov just published a great article on the topic. Here is what they had to say about the risks and consequences of leaving kids in a hot car:

Risks
  • In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.
  • With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.
  • A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s.
  • Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside!
  • A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.

Consequences
  • The heat-related death of a child.
  • Misdemeanor with fines as high as $500- and even imprisonment in some states.
  • Felony, depending on the state, if bodily harm results from leaving kids along in a hot car.
  • Note: The age of children who can be left unattended in a vehicle varies from state to state, as does the duration of time a child can be left alone in a car.

Prevention Tips
  • Never leave a child alone in a car.
  • Don’t let your kids play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.
  • Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open. 
  • Keep a large teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it’s empty. Move the teddy bear to the front seat when you place your child in the seat as a visual reminder.
  • If you are dropping your children off at a childcare, but normally your spouse or partner drops them off, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure they were not left in the car.
  • Become vigilant about looking in the vehicle before locking the door. Always look front to back before walking away- always!




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