The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is gearing up for their 2017 National Heatstroke Prevention Campaign. This campaign will run for a three-month period starting in June and go into August. They have a paid media budget of $900,000. The Look Before You Lock campaign will launch via paid media outlets on June 5th. Since only 10 minutes in a car can raise the temperature of 20 degrees, the importance of this campaign can’t be overstated.
The Facts on Child Heatstrokes
- From 1998-2016, 700 children died of vehicular heatstroke.
- 54 percent of those children were forgotten by a caregiver.
- 28 percent of those children were playing in an unattended vehicle.
- 17 percent of those children were intentionally left in a vehicle by an adult.
- 1 percent of those children died under unknown circumstances.
- In 2016, there were 39 child heatstroke deaths in vehicles.
Heatstroke Danger for Children
Children are highly susceptible to heat injury, especially when left unattended in a vehicle. First of all, they may not be able to get out or even to signal for help on their own. Also, a child’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than an adult’s body temperature. In 10 minutes, the temperature in a car can go up 20 degrees. Rolling windows down doesn’t really help at all, and a vehicular heatstroke can even occur on days with temperatures as low as 57 degrees. Heatstroke begins when a body’s core temperature reaches about 104 degrees, and a temperature of 107 degrees is lethal.
Look Before You Lock
The NHTSA is calling on parents and caregivers to Look Before You Lock. Drivers of small children should never leave them in unattended vehicles. It doesn’t matter how long you plan to be gone. It only takes a few minutes for temperatures to rise. They also recommend making a habit to look in the back seat every time you exit the car. Finally, always lock the car and put the keys out of reach of children. This can eliminate the danger of children playing inside of hot unattended cars over the summer.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident in or around the San Diego or Central Coast areas, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free consultation.