Health Team

Simple tips could help save children from hot cars

Posted June 20, 2014

— When the summer temperatures rise, young children are put at risk of heat stroke or death.

A toddler died in Georgia Wednesday after being left alone in a car, and across the country, 13 children have died this year because of similar conditions.

Even early in the morning when it seems cooler outside, a tray of S’mores can fully cook while in the back seat of a car where a child could be.

“Although it’s 87, the temperature inside the car is 109,” said Debbie Newman of WakeMed Injury Prevention.

Once a parent or caregiver forgets that they left an infant or toddler behind, temperatures might have increased up to 20 degrees within 10 minutes.

Often, people crack their windows, assuming it will cool the temperature inside of the car. However, car temperatures can reach 110 degrees and higher.

WakeMed emergency physician Dr. Andy Jakubowicz says children respond differently to heat than adults.

“A kid’s body heats up three to five times faster than adults,” he said. “So, they absorb more heat, they produce more heat, and they also don’t sweat as efficiently as adults do.”

A way to remember taking the proper safety precautions is an acronym called A.C.T. “A” means be aware and don’t leave a child in a car for even a minute.

“C” is create visual reminders that there’s a child in the back seat. Apex Deputy Fire Marshall David Dillon says that he and his wife leave their phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when their 3-year-old is riding with them.

Last is “T,” which is take action when you see a child alone in a car.

These same rules apply to pets as well.

If a tray of S’mores can cook quickly in the backseat of a car, the result could be fatal for a child.


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  • Sara Hauser Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    agree with Well I.D'Clare and Theconundrum.

  • sunshine1040 Jun 20, 2014

    Do not leave your children alone in a car . Leave them at home in school or take them with you but to do that you might have to teach them how they should act while you conduct your business at the bank or grocery store.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 20, 2014

    If awareness and plain old common sense don't help to prevent this, I don't think any simple tips are going to.
    Some people simply shouldn't have children, or pets either.

  • TheConundrum Jun 20, 2014

    I have a tip too...the best tip of all. Be a good parent.