Many parents have no idea that heatstroke is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents involving children. No parent thinks their child will become victim to it, but it does happen every year. Learn how to keep your child safe from this and other car dangers.
The Facts About Heatstroke
A heatstroke accident occurs when a child is left in a vehicle and their temperature rises quickly. Heatstroke can be deadly. It begins when the body gets to a temperature of 104 and their thermoregulatory system becomes overwhelmed. If a person’s body gets to 107 degrees, they are facing a lethal situation. Even the best parents can become distracted and leave their child in the car.
Risk Factors That Can Lead to Leaving a Child in the Backseat
If your child is put into the hands of a caregiver who is not used to have a child with them, they could potentially get out of the vehicle and forget the child. If you change up your own routine, you could leave your child behind. For example, if your spouse generally takes your child to daycare and you head straight to work, changing that up and driving your child yourself could cause you to forget, park, and go to work just as you normally would.
Tips to Prevent Accidental Heatstroke
Before you lock the doors when you walk away, make a habit of looking into the backseat. Do this even when you have your child in your arms. It will create a habit that results in you reflexively looking each time you leave the car.
While we have focused on heatstroke caused by children being left behind, it can also be caused by children playing in vehicles. This is why you should be sure to keep your vehicle locked at all times and leave your keys out of reach. Believe it or not, about 30% of heatstroke deaths occurred when a child got into a vehicle.
Important Things to Know About Heatstroke
Do not be mistaken – you should not leave a child alone in or around a vehicle for any amount of time, no matter the reasons. Even if it is cool out, your vehicle can get hot quickly. In fact, on a day with temperatures in the mid-60s, the temperature can get as hot as 110F faster than you might think. Inside your car can rise in temperature by as much as 20 degrees F in just ten minutes.
You cannot prevent every car accident and there is only so much you can do about some dangers. However, you can take many steps to prevent your child from becoming a victim of heatstroke.