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A child dies from heatstroke about once every 10 days from being unattended in a hot vehicle. In fact, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatality for kids 14 and younger. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car or the child climbed into an unlocked car to play and couldn't get themselves out. These tragedies are 100-percent preventable.
Outside of crashes, heatstroke is the number one vehicle-related killer of children in the United States. That why the City of Bremerton Fire Medical Office is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to attempt to reduce these deaths by reminding parents and caregivers about the dangers of vehicular heatstroke and leaving children in hot cars. In 2016, there were 39 preventable deaths of children in vehicles, a 63-percent increase from 2015.
Bremerton Fire Medical Office urges all parents and caregivers to do these three things:
If you are a bystander and see a child in a hot vehicle:
Know the warning signs of heatstroke, which include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin; no sweating; a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse; nausea; confusion; or acting strangely. If a child exhibits any of these signs after being in a hot vehicle, quickly spray the child with cool water or with a garden hose— NEVER put a child in an ice bath. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s, and heatstroke can occur in outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.
For more information, please visit the National Highly Traffic Safety Administration website.