Witness How Quickly the Interior of an Auto Heats Up

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The Auto Alliance continues working with Safe Kids Worldwide to make sure parents always remember to never leave a child alone in a car – even momentarily. And, it’s important to immediately dial 911 if an unattended child is spotted in a vehicle.

Cars heat up quickly. A small car exposed to the sun on a 95 degree day exceeds 122 degrees within just 15 minutes. It can go up to 150 degrees within 40 minutes and “cracking” the windows is not sufficient.

Someone who sees a child in an unattended vehicle should call 911.

In 2013, 24 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 561 child vehicular heatstroke deaths for a thirteen year period (1998 through 2012) shows the following circumstances:

  • 51% - child "forgotten" by caregiver (288 Children)
  • 29% - child playing in unattended vehicle (163)
  • 18% - child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (101)
  • 2% - circumstances unknown (9)

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.

Resources/Links:

SafeKids:

Download Safe Kids Heatstroke Safety Tips 

Link: http://www.safekids.org/take-action-prevent-heatstroke

NHTSA:

Download NHTSA Hyperthermia Fact Sheet 

Link: http://www.nhtsa.gov/safety/hyperthermia

San Francisco State University:

Link: http://www.ggweather.com/heat/

Our work with Safe Kids Worldwide:  


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