Vehicle Heat Stroke in Children
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury lawyer. People, especially children and the elderly, can sustain heat-related injuries from motor vehicle exposure. Injuries such as heat stroke may arise after being inside a car for a short period and can further lead to serious injury or even death within a few minutes. Time is of the essence in heat-related injuries and learning how to prevent them can save a life.
What is Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke is a condition often caused by physical exertion or prolonged exposure to high temperatures. This condition occurs when the core temperature of the body reaches approximately 104 degrees Fahrenheit and overwhelms the thermoregulatory system. Heat strokes can prove deadly when the core body temperature peaks 107 degrees.
Signs of Heat Stroke in Children
Contact emergency personnel right away if your child has been exposed to extreme temperatures or other hot environments, such as vehicle entrapment, and shows one or more of the following symptoms:
- Core body temperature of 104 degrees or above
- Dizziness and weakness
- Dry, hot, flushed skin
- Lack of perspiration
- Losing consciousness
- A severe headache
While waiting for the arrival of emergency responders, place your child in a cooler environment and splash him or her with cool water.
Heat Stroke Statistics
One of the major causes of non-accident-related deaths among children 14 and under is heat stroke. High temperatures are particularly dangerous for young children as their bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adult bodies due to their lack of efficient body temperature regulation. Following are the statistics surrounding heat stroke in vehicles:
- A vehicle’s temperature can increase over 20 degrees in only 10 minutes
- The temperature inside a car can reach up to 110 degrees even at an outside temperature of 60 degrees
- A child may pass away when his or her body temperature reaches a peak of 107 degrees while inside a car
- Three out of ten heat stroke fatalities in children transpire due to an unattended adolescent gaining access to a motor vehicle (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Preventing Heat Stroke in Children
Here are some tips that may help prevent heat stroke in children:
- Keep your car locked and your keys out of your child’s reach
- Never leave your child alone in your vehicle regardless if your windows are open or the air conditioning is on
- When exiting your vehicle, check the back seats of your car before you lock the doors and walk away
- Whether your daily routine has changed or another person is driving your child, always make certain that your child has arrived safely
There is never an excuse to leave a child unattended inside or around a vehicle. Understanding the potential consequences of leaving a child inside a hot vehicle is important in preventing serious injury or death and a lifetime of regret.
Modesto Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligent acts of another party, please contact me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
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