Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. Safety experts are pushing regulators and the auto industry to come up with technological solutions to help solve the problem of pediatric heatstroke in cars.
In 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can rise over 20 degrees. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tried to address the issue with a public education campaign aimed at teaching parents the dangers of hot cars and providing memory tips and tricks.
- Always look before you lock
- Keep in mind a child’s sensitivity to heat
- Understand the potential consequences: injury or death, arrested, and a lifetime of regret.
Janette Fennell, founder of the activist group KidsAndCars.org, says “about 30% of all child heatstroke deaths since 1998 have come from children getting trapped inside a car, not being forgotten.” However, memory lapses can happen to anyone. These cases usually happen when there has been some change in the daily routine which can affect our habitual memory.
In 2012, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) took a look at the products aimed at alerting parents when their children were left in car seats. The Evenflo SensorSafe was the only car seat able to connect with parents. Whether you’re a parent, caregiver or bystander of a child left in a car, it’s vitally important to understand children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults.
If you see a child alone in a car, here’s what you can do:
- Don’t wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return.
- If the child is not responsive or is in distress, immediately call 911.
- Get the child out of the car.
- Spray the child with cool water (not in an ice bath).
“Good Samaritan” laws offer legal protection for those who offer assistance in an emergency. For more information, visit SafeCar.gov.