Though we’re not yet in the dead of summer and the heat that comes with it in Lexington County, warmer temperatures are certainly on the way. Even now with the high temps hitting the 80s, that makes conditions inside a parked car hot and unsafe. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.

Outside of crashes, heatstroke is the number one vehicle-related killer of children in the United States. In 2017, there were 42 preventable deaths of children in vehicles, an 8-percent increase from 2016.

As outside temperatures rise in the coming weeks, the risk of children dying from vehicular heatstroke increases. One child dies from heatstroke nearly every 10 days in the United States from being left in a car or crawling into an unlocked vehicle. What is most tragic is that every single one of these deaths could have been prevented.

That’s why we always urge parents and caregivers to do these three things:

  • NEVER leave a child in a vehicle unattended.
  • Make it a habit to look in the back seat EVERY time you exit the car.
  • ALWAYS lock the car and put the keys out of reach.

A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s, and heatstroke can occur in outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees.

In my next blog entry, I’ll share tips for what you as a bystander should do when you see a child in a hot vehicle.