|Sheriff Jay Koon|

As the weather heats up for an infamously hot summer here in Lexington County, I wanted to take a moment to remind you about heatstroke prevention amid children.

NHTSA reports that 851 children nationwide have died due to vehicular heatstroke since 1998, 52 of those were last year alone. Over half of those were because a child was forgotten in a vehicle.

“Most people don’t realize that a child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s” (NHTSA). A heatstroke kicks in when your body temperature reaches 104 degrees, and a child can die when they reach 107 degrees. Within a few minutes, a car’s internal temperature can reach 110 degrees.

It’s important to make sure these tragic incidents are avoided at all costs. No parent thinks they’ll forget a child in the car, but even a great parent can forget a sleeping child in the back seat, especially when there’s a change in your routine. What are some ways you can remind yourself to look before you lock?

  • Set a reminder on your phone to alert you to check the backseat.
  • Put your purse or briefcase next to the car seat to remind yourself that a child is back there.
  • Write a reminder to yourself and place it on the dash or door to check the back seat.
  • Ask your day care provider to call you if your child doesn’t arrive.
  • Never let kids play in an unattended vehicle; lock it after exiting and put the keys up out of their reach.

If you are a bystander and see a child alone in a hot vehicle, make sure the child is okay and responsive; attempt to locate the parents. If the child is not okay or is unresponsive, call 9-1-1 immediately.