July 5, 2002
Preventing Heat-Related Deaths & Injuries
Charlotte, NC—Summer in North Carolina means hot temperatures and even hotter cars. Children are especially vulnerable to heat-related injuries and deaths during these hot weather months, so the Mecklenburg County Child Fatality Prevention and Protection Team has developed these facts and tips to remind parents to be vigilant this summer to keep their children safe.
—Summer in North Carolina means hot temperatures and even hotter cars. Children are especially vulnerable to heat-related injuries and deaths during these hot weather months, so the Mecklenburg County Child Fatality Prevention and Protection Team has developed these facts and tips to remind parents to be vigilant this summer to keep their children safe.
Facts about car related deaths due to heat:
- From 1996 through 2000, more than 120 children – most of them 3 and younger – died from heat stroke after being trapped in a car.
- Although no heat related child car deaths have been reported in Mecklenburg County in several years, surrounding counties have had recent incidences. One in Davidson County in June 2002 and one in Iredell County in 2001. Both deaths were attributed to the parent forgetting that the child was in the car.
- In the summer of 1999, an average of one child every four days died after being trapped in a car parked in the searing heat.
- More than a third of deaths reported last year occurred when children crawled into unlocked cars while playing, they became trapped and perished in the sweltering heat.
- When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s core body temperature can increase three to five times faster than that of an adult causing permanent injury or death.
- When the outside temperature is 93 degrees Fahrenheit, even with a window cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit in just 20 minutes and approximately 140 degrees in 40 minutes
Preventing Heat-Related Deaths & Injuries in the Car
- Never leave your child in an unattended car, even with the windows down.
- Teach children not to play in or around cars.
- Always lock car doors and trunks even at home.
- Be wary of child-resistant locks.
Teach older children how to disable the driver’s door locks if they unintentionally become entrapped in a motor vehicle.
- Check to make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination.
- Don’t over look sleeping infants.
- Watch children closely around cars, particularly when loading and unloading.
- Make sure you check the temperature of the car seat surface and safety belt buckles before restraining your children in the car.
- Use a light covering to shade the seat of your parked car. Consider using windshield shades in front and back windows.
For more information about child-related safety, click on