The Facts on Heatstroke

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of non-crash-related fatalities among children.

  • Vehicle heatstroke occurs when a child is left in a hot vehicle, allowing for the child’s temperature to rise in a quick and deadly manner.

  • Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees and the thermo-regulatory system is overwhelmed.

  • A core body temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.

  • Even in cooler temperatures, your vehicle can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. An outside temperature in the mid-60s can cause a vehicle’s inside temperature to rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • The inside temperature of your car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.

  • Heatstroke does not only occur during the summertime or in the Sun Belt States. This deadly issue can occur at any time of year, in any weather condition, in any community— for any parent.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Children are at a higher risk than adults of dying from heatstroke in a hot vehicle especially when they are too young to communicate.

  • Children overheat up to five times faster than adults.


References:

NHTSA. “Child Safety-Heatstroke” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2020 https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/child-safety

DHHS."Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock. Administration for Children and Families, 2020 https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ecd/interagency-projects/look-before-you-lock