Protect your kids from heat stroke - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Protect your kids from heat stroke

A child can die from heat stroke on a 72-degree day — that's because a child's body heats up faster than does an adult's body. It's also why you should never leave a child alone in a car.

Kate Carr is president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, a child safety organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. 

Carr says, "For children, it's a particular risk because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult's, making them much more vulnerable to heat stroke."

There are three ways that children have died as a result of heat stroke in a car.

"The first is when a parent accidentally forgets their child," says Carr. "Their routine changes and they go on with their day and the tragedy is that these are good parents, they're wonderful people and they made a really terrible mistake that day. They forgot their child."

The second case is where kids get into cars on their own and are unable to get out.

"They're imitating their parents driving, they think they're having fun and they are in a very hot vehicle," says Carr.

The third reason is when children are intentionally left in a car by the driver, whether it's a parent or a caregiver.

"They make a decision that, for the short period of time that they're going to run an errand or do something, that it's just fine that the child is in the car and it's simply not the case," says Carr.

Carr says it's critical for parents to stay vigilant about preventing hyperthermia accidents.

Safe Kids promotes the "ACT" campaign:
- Avoid heatstroke by never leaving your child alone in a car. Not even for a minute. - Create a reminder, put something in the back seat that you need at your final destination, a cell phone, a purse, a briefcase. - Take action. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911. Emergency responders would much rather respond to a false alarm then arrive at the scene of a tragedy. 
"If I had one thing that I would impress on everyone it would be that this could happen to anyone and it does," says Carr.

Safe Kids also suggests that parents and/or other caregivers establish a 'peace-of-mind plan.' When you drop off a child, make a habit of calling or texting the other parent or caregiver so all of you know where your child is at all times.

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