So far this year, 18 children, including one in the Tampa Bay area, have died from heatstroke after being left inside of a hot car. On National Heatstroke Prevention Day, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital‘s Child Advocacy Team showed how hot a parked car gets in the summer sun by baking cookies inside a vehicle. It only took minutes for the cookie dough to spread and within about two hours the cookies were complete.
It was about 98 degrees outside, but the temperature on the dashboard of the car reached 150 degrees. A thermometer in a car seat in the back of the car showed that the temperature rose to 120 degrees within about 20 minutes.
According to AAA, a child can get hyperthermia after being inside a car for just 3-5 minutes on an 80 degree day. Heatstroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 105 degrees and when it reaches 107 degrees, internal organs begin to shut down and brain damage sets in.
A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult’s. Plus, their skin is thinner, and their thermoregulatory system is less mature, so they do not have the cognitive ability to take measures to cool or warm their bodies.
St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Child Advocacy Center recommends leaving something such as a phone, purse or even one of your shoes next to the car seat to help you remember the child is in the car. They also say it’s a good idea to make arrangements with your child’s teacher or childcare provider to call you if he or she is not dropped off for the day.
In the state of Florida it is against the law to leave a child under the age of six unattended in a vehicle and can result in a $50-$500 fine.
Video – http://youtu.be/1aW8BNsDrZU