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Heatstroke Prevention for Babies
Sometimes, a sleeping baby is so peaceful and quiet in the backseat of a car that we can forget they are even there. It can also be tempting to leave a sleeping baby in the car so we don’t have to wake them up while we quickly run into the store. But leaving a baby alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke, even in cooler temperatures. Heatstroke deaths have been recorded every month of the year in nearly all 50 states.
Hard Facts about Heatstroke
- Since 1998, more than 700 children died from heatstroke while left unattended in vehicles. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.
- A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. Cracking a window doesn’t help.
- Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult.
Top Tips for Preventing Heatstroke
You can reduce the number of child heatstroke tragedies by remembering to ACT:
- Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunks – even in your driveway. And keep your keys and key fobs out of the reach of kids.
- Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
- Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
It’s important for all parents to know how to protect babies from heatstroke. Here are some additional tips to help you out.