NHTSA says hot car deaths can happen quickly, act now and save a life

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(KLFY)- About 39 children in the United States died each year after being left inside a hot car.

In 2018 and 2019, that number reached a record high with 52 children dying each year.

Last year, 24 children died of vehicular heatstroke.

“Young kids can not regulate body temperatures. Their body temperature heat up three to five times faster than adults,” Robert Ritter with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

Nearly 900 children have died of heatstroke since 1998.

In that 23 year time span, Louisiana reported 33 fatalities linked to children trapped in hot cars.

Ritter continues, “Louisiana has the 2nd highest per capita of children heatstroke deaths in the country.”

A heatstroke can begin when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degress.

A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.

“The children we are seeing, their bodies heat up faster. They are impacted much faster than you think,” explains Ritter.

  • Never leave a child alone in a car even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running
  • Create reminders by placing an item in the backseat such as a purse or cell phone
  • Ask you childcare provider to call if your child does not show us as expected

Ritter adds, “No one thinks it will happen to them. No one thinks they are the parent who will forget.”

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