by BreeAnn Silcox, coalition coordinator, Safe Kids Bear River

Child Sleeping in Car As summer temperatures rise, it’s important to remember that while these summer days are great for the pool and the beach, they’re not so great for the inside of cars, which can rise to deadly temperatures in a very short period of time. Safe Kids Bear River reminds caregivers to never leave children alone in cars.

Many people are shocked to learn how hot the inside of a car can actually get. On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside of a car can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes and keep getting hotter with each passing minute. And, by the way, cracking the window doesn’t help.

Heatstroke sets in when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough. Children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, making them more susceptible to heatstroke. When a child’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees, major organs begin to shut down, and when that temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child can die.

The key to preventing these tragedies is for every parent and caregiver to understand that this can happen to anybody. It can also be avoided with a little awareness and by taking a few simple precautions.

Safe Kids Bear River is asking everyone to help protect kids by remembering to ACT:

A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.

C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, purse or cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these kind of situations. One call could save a life.

Safe Kids Bear River works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Bear River is led by the Bear River Health Department and is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. For more information on preventing heatstroke, visit safekids.org or call (435) 792-6510.