What are the Dangers of “Hot Cars” in the Summer Time and During Warm Weather Periods?

Vehicle - Red Van - Child Safety When the outside temperature gets into the triple digits (100 degrees plus), it is clear that a child left in a “hot car” is at risk for serious medical problems and complications. Even temperature lower than the triple digits can lead to serious permanent injuries, it can only take a matter of minutes for the heat in a vehicle to get to a level that can put a child at risk for dehydration, hypothermia, and other complications. We live in a fast paced world filled with distractions and tasks that keep us busy all day long. In the hustle and bustle of the world that we live in, a child can be left behind in a hot vehicle, bus, or van by a parent, family member, family friend, day care center, summer camp, or school. It is clear that 5 minutes of running into a store can turn into 15 minutes if you take a call or see a friend. These minutes can be crucial to saving a life. The better practice is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • 44 children died in hot cars in 2013;
  • 31 children died in hot cars in 2014;
  • 8 children (so far) died in hot cars in 2015; and
  • On even an 80 degree day - a child’s body temperature can reach fatal levels in a matter of minutes if left in a “hot car”.

Dr. Paul McPherson, a physician at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Idaho, said children’s bodies absorb heat three to five times faster than adults and don’t disperse it as quickly. See Heat Wave Dangers to Children Left in Hot Cars

This explains the days in which an adult seems to be sweating up a storm while the child does not seem to be sweating or hot at all. Adults and child care providers should not judge the heat of the day or the environment by how the adult or child care provider feels.

The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Automobile Accidents, Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury