Heatstroke is the #2 killer among children

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With the temperatures rising for Summer, a very dangerous situation also rises. Heatstroke is the number one killer of children, outside of car crashes.  In 2013, 44 children lost their lives nationwide. This is a number we can prevent. 

A child’s body temperature can heat up 3 to 5 times faster that adults, and reach a core temperature of 107°F. At this temperature, it can be lethal to a child. To put temperatures in perspective, at 60°F, your car can heat up to 110°F within 10 minutes. Heatstroke has been known to happen with children in temperatures as low as 50°F.

Some tips to prevent Heatstroke:

  • Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down, or air conditioning on.
  • Always look in both the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking away. Make it a habit to look in the backseat when the vehicle is parked.
  • Never let children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them a vehicle is not a play area.
  • Always lock your vehicle doors and trunk and keep the keys out of a child’s reach. If a child is missing, quickly check all vehicles, including the trunk.

If dropping your child off is not part of your normal routine, here are some ways to remind yourself that a child is in the car.

  • Place an item that you keep on you, like a briefcase or purse, in the backseat, so that you’ll always check the back seat before you leave the car.
  • To avoid distracted driving also, place your cellphone in the backseat to remind yourself and avoid using the cellphone while driving.
  • Write a note on the dashboard or set an alert/reminder on your cell phone to remind you. 

If you see a child unattended  in the back seat of a vehicle:

  • Call 911 Immediately
  • If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Cool the child rapidly, by spraying them with cool water or a garden hose. NEVER use an ice bath.
  • Signs of heatstroke are – red, hot, and moist or dry skin; no sweating; a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse; nausea; confusion; or acting strangely.
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