So far this year, there have been at least nine heat stroke deaths of children in vehicles nationwide.
Just Monday, authorities said a little girl in Sarasota, Florida, died after she was left in a hot car for 5 hours.
With the sun beating down, it doesn’t take long for the inside of a vehicle to heat up.
Mobile Fire-Rescue Spokesperson Steve Huffman said, “Based on an outside temperature of, say, 90 degrees, temperature inside the car begins to rise quickly. It gets up to 120 degrees, 140 degrees, within ten minutes in most cases, a matter of minutes, and, of course, obviously prolonged, this could kill a child.”
112 DEGREES IN TEN MINUTES
We took a thermometer and put it in a parked truck in our parking lot.
The temperature went up to 112 degrees in ten minutes.
Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees.
Huffman said, “Our body temperature, we get into a deadly territory when we’re talking about 105, 107 degrees. That’s when heat stroke starts coming on.”
WATCHING FOR SYMPTOMS
Doctors have said its important to watch out for heat stroke symptoms in children.
Dr. Jason Richerson is the Director of the Evaluation Center at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
He said, “Some of the symptoms, they become nauseous, irritable, but, most of them are going to become unconscious fairly quickly.”
And, Dr. Richerson said its not always easy to tell when a child needs help.
Richerson said, “As a bystander, people may take that for them taking a nap, but, its something that bystanders need to be looking out for. Because, people who have noticed these things have saved lives as well.”
WATCHING FOR DISTRESS
Huffman said fire officials respond almost every day to scenes where children are locked in cars.
In most cases, he said the air conditioning is running, but Huffman said, “If we get there, and a child is in any type of distress, we will break a window out to get to the child.”
Here are some reminders on keeping your kids safe:
—-don’t leave a child in the car, even if you’ll only be gone for a few minutes
—-if you have a child in a back seat, place something like a phone next to him, or something that will remind you he or she is in the car.
—-take your child out of the car before doing anything else
—-packages and grocery bags can wait
—-leave the driver’s side door open until everything and everyone are out of the car
—-always take keys out of the car and keep a spare set with you
—-carry a spare key with you