Hyperthermia and Heatstroke - FAQs
Karen Hardingham, from the UMCH and Safe Kids Baltimore, took to Facebook Live to discuss the very real dangers of leaving kids in hot cars.
Ten minutes later, Karen revealed just how hot the inside of the car got. Never leave a child alone in the car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Preventing heatstrokeToggle accordion item
What is heat stroke?Toggle accordion item
What are symptoms of heat stroke?Toggle accordion item
What should I do if I see a child left alone in a car?Toggle accordion item
If you determine from outside the car that the child is severely impaired from outside the car, alert the 911 operator and follow directions. You may have to provide bystander care and remove the child from the car.
911 may direct you to slowly cool and lower the body temperature by using a cool water mist or wipes until help arrives.
How many children die from heatstroke?Toggle accordion item
Are there other dangers to children left in cars?Toggle accordion item
How do young kids gain entry to cars?Toggle accordion item
People with kids should check to be sure everyone is out of the car before they lock it and make sure the car is locked each and every time. People without kids should also lock their doors and trunks to keep neighborhood kids from climbing into their vehicles.
If a child goes missing, always remember to check a pool FIRST, and then look in cars and trunks.
In what ways are children dying?Toggle accordion item
Children die as a result of being left unattended in a vehicle in one of three ways:
- 52% - child was “forgotten” by caregiver
- 29% - child was playing in an unattended vehicle and became trapped
- 18% - child was intentionally left alone
What can I do to help?Toggle accordion item
You can also help spread the word by sharing information on your Facebook, Twitter or any other social media profiles.
Why are we hearing so much about this now?Toggle accordion item
On an 80 degree day, the inside of a closed car can quickly exceed 100 degrees. Cracking a window does not help keep the inside of a car cool.
Are there laws about this?Toggle accordion item
It can happen to you.
What should parents and caregivers do to protect their kids from heatstroke?Toggle accordion item
Make sure you make it clear to your babysitter that it is never okay to leave your child alone in a car.
Why are children at such great risk in cars?Toggle accordion item
What is Safe Kids doing to prevent children from dying of heatstroke?Toggle accordion item
With support from the GM Foundation, Safe Kids’ national program “Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car” is raising awareness about the dangers of heatstroke. Safe Kids wants everyone to ACT.
- A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
- C: 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.
- T: 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.
What is Safe Kids Worldwide?Toggle accordion item
Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the United States and with partners in 23 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 55 percent.
Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.