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Heatstroke and the Dangers of Leaving Children in Hot Cars

Heatstroke and the Dangers of Leaving Children in Hot Cars

As the summer months progress and temperatures keep rising, it’s important for parents, guardians, and other caretakers to be mindful about the very real dangers of heatstroke. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children are at a particular risk of dying from heatstroke. 

Ten minutes in a parked car with no air conditioning can mean exposure to a temperature increase of *20* degrees. Accordingly, if you come upon a parked car bearing a child who seems unresponsive, you are well within your right to treat the situation as an emergency, either attempting to open the vehicle yourself or phoning 911. On the other hand, if the child is responsive, staying in his or her company until the parent/guardian returns or other help arrives is advisable. Remember: There’s no shame in “interfering” when a human life is at stake (and the law stands on the side of Good Samaritans). 

Meanwhile, if you yourself are a parent or guardian, always be sure to double-check your vehicle’s backseat before exiting. Forgetfulness is the main driver of car heatstroke tragedies. We all get distracted in day-to-day life, so be mindful about the risks involved in leaving your child alone in a car, and do not let distraction lead to tragedy.


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