CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 30, 2019) – Wednesday, July 31, is National Heat Stroke Prevention Day and AAA Carolinas is reminding motorists of how quickly temperatures can rise inside their vehicles.
Vehicular Heat-Related Statistics:
- On a 95-degree day a car can heat up to over 180-degrees
- The steering wheel can reach 159 degrees (temperature for cooking medium rare meat)
- The seats can reach 162 degrees (temperature for cooking ground beef)
- The dash can reach 181 degrees (temperature for cooking poultry)
- At 104-degrees internal organs start to shut down
- A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body
“Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths for children under the age of 14,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “In fact, a child can die of heat stroke on a 72-degree day.”
Children are especially vulnerable to heat stroke because they can be left in hot cars with no way to free themselves, leading to 37 fatalities per year since 1998. There has been an increase in child vehicular heath stroke deaths every year since 2015.
According to KidsinHotCars.org, a record breaking 52 children died in a hot car in 2018, and more than 900 have died since 1990. To date, there have been 17 known reports of child death in hot vehicles so far this year.
Even when it is not too hot outside, it can get extremely hot inside the vehicle – and in just a matter of minutes.
AAA has joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind parents and caregivers to “look before you lock,” and pledge to never forget your child in the car.
In conjunction with the National holiday and the rising number of children left in the back seat, law makers have introduced a bill aimed at preventing these tragedies from occurring in the future.
Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Peter King (R-NY) recently proposed H.R. 3593, otherwise known as the Hot Cars Act, which will ensure all new cars are equipped with a system that detects and alerts to the presence of a child unknowingly left in a vehicle.
AAA Urges Motorists To ACT:
- A—Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child in the car alone, not even for a minute.
- C—Create electronic reminders or put something in the backseat you need when exiting the car – for example, a cell phone, purse, wallet, briefcase or shoes. Always lock your car and never leave car keys or car remote where children can get to them.
- T—Take action and immediately call 9-1-1- if you notice a child unattended in a car.
If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke:
- Call 911 or transport them to a hospital immediately, as a delay in medical attention can lead to more serious complications.
- While waiting for medical help, move the person to an air-conditioned or a shady area and remove any unnecessary clothing.
- Try cooling strategies such as wetting their skin with water and fanning them or applying ice packs to areas with heavy blood vessels like armpits or neck.