There has been a lot of media coverage lately on children deaths caused by heat stroke. Last year, over 40 kids died from heat stroke after being left in or having gained access to vehicles.
When a child is left in a hot vehicle, they become at risk for heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the core body temperature rises to more than 105 degrees. Symptoms include:
- Red, hot and dry skin
- Dizziness and nausea
- Rapid heartbeat and/or shallow breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Children’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than adults. Failure to get medical assistance immediately can result in brain damage or even death.
With the rush and distractions of every day life, even great parents can make a mistake. The following tips can help keep your child safe:
- Never leave your child alone in a car for any reason.
- Check the back seat of the vehicle before locking doors. Place a purse, cell phone or other necessity in the back seat as a reminder.
- Teach children that cars are not to be used as playgrounds.
- Keep parked cars locked and place keys out of reach from children.
- Have school, daycare or babysitter call if your child does not show up.
Take immediate action if you see a child left in a vehicle. If the child is unresponsive, call 911 immediately and try to get the child out of the vehicle. If they are responsive, stay with the child while someone else searches for the driver.