Heatstroke

It seems so simple — never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Yet on average, every 10 days a child dies in the United States in a vehicle from heat exposure.  In Florida just within the last year:

  • A 3-year-old boy died after he was forgotten in a vehicle and left there for three hours while his family attended a funeral.
  • A 2-year-old boy who wandered into a family car was found dead on the floorboard hours after he was reported missing.
  • An 11-month-old boy died from heat exposure after his mother allegedly left him in the car and forgot about him. She is charged with aggravated manslaughter.

Even when it’s not too hot out, children are at risk of heatstroke if they are left in an enclosed vehicle. When the outdoor temperature is between 72 to 96 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can jump up 40 degrees in just one hour. Cracking the windows has little effect.

In addition to never leaving children alone in vehicles, always lock the doors and trunk and make sure keys and remote entry fobs are out of children’s sight and reach. Teach children that trunks are not safe places and show older children how to locate and use the emergency trunk release in all cars made since 2002.

For more information and tips from Safe Kids Worldwide, click here.

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Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County
2300 High Ridge Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33426
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