Heatstroke death is a growing yet preventable problem


I’m sure you’ve noticed the news reports over the past couple of years…..”baby (or child) left in hot car and dies”. This headline has become more and more of an everyday headline than ever before. The statistic is 37 children die per year in the United States…37 too many. In 2016, 39 died and to date in 2017, 5 have died.

I am sure the thought has crossed your mind…
”HOW does this happen?”
“HOW can someone leave their child in a car?”
“Not me. Not ever.” (not everyone has this thought, but many do)

Let me tell you, it is not as crazy or impossible as it sounds. Life is insane. As parents we are going 100 mph ALL THE TIME. We are distracted. Tired. Sleep deprived. Juggling a million different things. Accidents can happen. And they DO happen. All too often.

Most of the time these accidents are caused by a change in routine. Don’t get me wrong, there are the few incidents that were intentional, but that is not what this post is about. I have no words for those people and I hope they die a slow and agonizing death. That’s all I have to say about that. I digress…..

With the heat of Florida summer already among us, we need to be conscious of our kids and cars. Heatstroke sets in when the body temperature reaches 104 degrees and a child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult! The temperature rises in a car at the rate of 10-20 degrees every 10 minutes. In Florida, heatstroke can set in with in 5-10 minutes. Do you know what happens once heatstroke sets in? It is not pretty….disorientation, seizure, dizziness, confusion, and death. What a torturous and painful experience. NO child should ever have to experience this.

Accidental heatstroke death is preventable. But it is not just parents that are at risk for this accident. ANYONE who transports a child is at risk.

Here are a few things that we can do to be more vigilant about kids in the car:

  • NEVER allow kids to play in or near an unlocked car. There have been several instances when a child has gotten themselves locked in the car without anyone knowing. In one case, 2 children locked themselves in the trunk. By the time they were found, it was too late.
  • Get in the habit of keeping your bag (or something that you need for the day) in the back seat. You will be forced to retrieve it once you reach your destination, at which time you’ll get your child out, too.
  • Set a calendar alert on your phone if there is a change in routine for the day.
  • Leave a sticky note on your dash.
  • Download the Baby OK app (once available).

The Baby OK app was designed for parents, babysitters, grandparents…ANYONE who ever drives with a child in the car. Here is more information on Baby OK.

Do you have any tips to help prevent this tragedy from happening? I’d love to hear them!


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