2014 US Heatstroke Deaths by Location: San Francisco State University
Someone who sees a child in an unattended vehicle should call 911.
In 2014, 18 children have died from heat-related deaths as of July 31, having been trapped inside motor vehicles.
Circumstances: An examination of media reports about the 606 child vehicular heatstroke deaths for a thirteen year period (1998 through 2012) shows the following circumstances:
- 51% - child "forgotten" by caregiver (312 Children)
- 29% - child playing in unattended vehicle (177)
- 18% - child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (111)
- 1% - circumstances unknown (6)
Awareness: The Auto Alliance is raising awareness of heat stroke (or hyperthermia) to children and pets if they are left alone in a vehicle – even for a moment. Allowing children to have access to car keys, or an unlocked vehicle is just as dangerous – and a full 30 percent of these tragedies occur because a child gains access to an unlocked auto and then becomes trapped.
Prevention: All vehicle owners and operators can, immediately, do their part to eliminate these tragedies through four key steps:
- Locking vehicles
- Keeping keys away from children – just as a parent keeps medications and harmful cleaning supplies away from children
- Putting a diaper bag in a vehicle's front seat to serve as a reminder of a child in the back seat
- Putting a hand-held cellphone or PDA device in the back seat
Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle – for even just a few moments. Cars heat up quickly: a small car exposed to the sun on a 95 degree day exceeds 122 degrees within just 15 minutes and can go up to 150 degrees within 40 minutes. "Cracking" the windows is not sufficient.
San Francisco State University: