Heatstroke is a condition that occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Children are at great risk for heatstroke because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When the internal body temperature reaches 104 degrees, children’s organs start to shut down. And when it reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.
Every 10 days, across the United States, a child dies while unattended in a hot car. It only takes a few minutes for a car to heat up and become deadly to a child inside. As summer temperatures rise, more kids are at risk – the death toll this summer has already exceeded 20.
As parents, we often have conflicted feelings about safety: On the one hand, we can sometimes be too cautious, overestimating our child’s level of risk of a particular danger. And at the same time, we can completely dismiss certain hazards, assuming our child would never be affected. This is especially true of one particular kind of accident.
As summer temperatures continue to climb across the country, it’s important to remember that while these summer days are great for the pool and the beach, they’re not so good for the inside of cars, which can raise to deadly temperatures in a very short period of time.
Sadly, since 1998, at least 910 children across the United States have died from heatstroke.