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    “It Couldn’t Happen to Me”–Heat Deaths in Children

    March 21st, 2012

    SafeKids USA is always slightly ahead of the curve–in a good way. They want to remind everyone that even though spring has just begun, the weather here in North Carolina has already topped 70 degrees. But with these glorious days comes the opportunity for tragic news:  reports of children left unattended in a vehicle, dying of hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke.

    Believe it or not, heat stroke can happen in February with temperatures as low as 57 degrees.  But starting in March, when the sun gets stronger, the numbers begin to climb, with peak incidents occuring during the summer months.  These tragedies affect mostly infants and toddlers, but can happen to children of all ages.

    Since 1998, over 520 children have died as a result of hyperthermia, with an average of 38 per year.  Sadly, about half of the children are forgotten when the driver arrives at a destination.  That driver becomes distracted and forgets he or she has a child in the back seat and continues their routine.   The rest were either playing in an unattended car and were unable to get out, or were intentionally left by an adult for “just a minute.”

    To learn more about the dangers of leaving a child alone in a car, watch our video:

    Preventing Hot Car Heat Injuries in Children