Vehicle Safety: Summer Heat Edition
Vehicle safety doesn’t end when you park your car. With the summer heat fast approaching, it is important to remember the dangers of leaving children or pets unattended in a hot car. In the moment, running into a store while your child or pet is waiting in your vehicle does not seem like an issue. However, it is surprising how quickly temperatures can rise in a parked car, and how serious the consequences can be.
Since 1998, 611 children have died from heatstroke by being left in a hot, parked car. Young children and babies are unfortunately some of the most common victims of this. Due to their small size, their bodies are not as prepared to deal with extreme temperature levels. Temperatures in parked cars (even if the air-conditioning had been running before) can rise rapidly. For example, one study found that in 20 minutes, on a day that was 35 degrees Celsius, the temperature of a previously air-conditioned car rose to over 50 degrees. Keeping in mind that the human body experiences heatstroke once it reaches 40.5 degrees Celsius, this statistic is quite alarming.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to stay alert. Even in our high-tech times, we haven’t figured out a reliable technology to prevent children and pets from being left in overheated cars. So it is important to remember to always check the backseat of your vehicle before you lock it. Even if you think you will only leave your child in the car for a minute, bring them inside. The risk just isn’t worth it!
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