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July 01, 2018

Report: 37 children die unattended in hot cars every year

The report found it takes only 10 minutes for a car temperature to rise 20 degrees

Children's Health Reports
Children in cars Photo courtesy/Pexels


The National Safety Council has recently released a report on pediatric vehicular heatstroke and the dangers of leaving children unattended inside motor vehicles.

The report found that in 2017, 42 children died from preventable PVH because they were left inside a hot car for too long.

It only takes about 10 minutes for the temperature in a car to rise 20 degrees, which is enough to cause PVH that leads to death.

The council's aim in releasing the report's findings was to support stronger laws to protect children, to increase awareness and understanding of vehicle heating dynamics, to increase awareness of the risk of children gaining access to vehicles on their own, to encourage policies for childcare providers and recommend the study of factors that contribute to unknowingly leaving a child in a vehicle.

The report also found that on average, 37 children die each year due to PVH.

Safe Kids Worldwide has created five recommendations to avoid this situation.

  1. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute
  2. Keep your car locked when you are not in it so kids don't gain access
  3. Create reminders by putting something in the back seat next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse, cell phone or your left shoe
  4. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911
  5. Set a calendar reminder on your electronic device to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare; develop a plan so you will be alerted if your child is late or a no-show

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