Summer heat causes hyperthermia in children left in vehicles

August 10, 2012 12:00 AM

Car safety extends well beyond having regular maintenance and being alert on the road. It also includes being aware of the seasons and conscientious of who you leave in the car and for how long. So far this year, 23 children have died from hyperthermia after being left in vehicles.

"Whether you are a parent, caregiver or just a concerned bystander, you can help save lives. 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 ensure you don't forget your child; and Take action if you see a child unattended in a vehicle by immediately calling 911," says Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide.

Overheating in a vehicle can occur even on a mild day as temperatures in a car can rise nearly 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Opening a window slightly has no effect on the temperature. These conditions are dangerous for anyone, but especially for children. A child's body heats up to three to five times faster than an adult.

If a child must be left momentarily unattended in a vehicle during the summer months, leave the air conditioning on. Be sure to stay up to date on car air conditioning service.

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