Over recent years, there has been an aspect of driving that is getting a lot of attention and it doesn’t even require the car to be moving. That aspect of driving is simply waiting in the car. Waiting in the car is something that may not seem like an issue but it can actually be about life and death. Weather plays a big role in how waiting in the car can affect someone. If it’s hot outside, there is a big risk of heatstroke. Luckily, to avoid heat stroke we don’t need to do much.
It’s important to remember that to avoid heat stroke suffering for children is more important than running into the store, even for just a minute.
Children and pets are suffering the most from heat stroke while waiting in the car. While sitting without the a/c on or windows wide open, a car can rise 20 degrees in temperature. It only takes ten minutes for a car’s internal temperature to rise by 20 degrees. In the span of an hour, a car’s internal temperature can rise by 50 degrees. For example, if it’s 60 degrees outside, and your car is parked, it can rise to 110 degrees inside your car. An estimated 636 children died from heatstroke from 1998 to 2014. Those numbers are slowing down thanks to media attention around the topic, but that number should be at zero, not just slowing down.
Tips to Avoid Heat stroke in a Car
It’s easier than you think to have an animal or child suffer heatstroke in a car. But it’s even easier to not let that even be a threat to the life of a child or animal. A few simple steps can help make heat stroke deaths a thing of the past.
- Reminders- many people have claimed simply forgetting their child or pet in the vehicle as the cause behind an incident. Don’t forget by using a stuffed animal in the passenger seat as a marker that a child or a pet is in the vehicle.
- Personal Items- Another great way to remember is to place your purse or briefcase next to the child safety seat in the backseat. When you go to grab your personal item you will see that there is a child in the car as well.
- There is no Safer- Some people may think that parking in the shade, just running into the store or leaving the windows cracked a bit may help. All of the above are assumptions that will not help.
- Routines- We are animals who fall into routines very easily. Make it a routine to check your backseat every time you enter and exit your vehicle. After a couple of weeks of doing this, over and over again, you will fall into a routine.
- Not a Playground- Make sure your children understand that a car is not a playground. Another cause of heat stroke for children is accidentally locking themselves in the car while playing. Always make sure your car is locked when at home so children can’t get in without you knowing.
Avoiding heat stroke death is easier than you may think but there should always be a failsafe. Our failsafe is our community. If you see a child or animal left in a vehicle, unattended, immediately call 911. Some states have even passed laws that allow any passersby to break a window to save a child or even a pet. Remember, it only needs to be 57 degrees outside for a car to get hot enough for heat stroke to occur. Don’t let anyone lose a child in such a way that can be easily prevented.