X
Information about the Coronavirus

Griffin Health is committed to your care and safety. Please call your doctor or provider before your visit. General COVID-19 information is available here. Vaccination information is available here.

Schedule your COVID-19 test at 203-437-6815.

Children, cars and summer temps can be a deadly mix

By Griffin Hospital on 7/8/2015
We all know what happens inside a car during the summer months.

Who hasn’t made the mistake of hoping in a car after it’s been sitting in parking lot or driveway on a hot day and quickly having to get out because it was like being in a sauna?

Experiences like that should be enough for all of us to realize that it’s never acceptable to leave a child (or a pet, for that matter) in a car – even for what should be “just a moment” and especially in the summer.

Exposure to high temperatures can lead to heatstroke - a condition that occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles and can easily lead to death without immediate medical treatment.

Children are at a greater risk for heatstroke because a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When the body’s temperature reaches 104 degrees, the internal organs start to shut down. When it reaches 107 degrees, a child can die.

Temps rise faster than you think

According to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cars parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures up to 131 degrees within minutes when outside temperatures are above 80.

However, the hazard doesn’t occur on what we typically consider hot days and “cracking” the windows doesn’t negate the risk. Even when outside temperatures are in the 60s, a car temperature can rise to well above 110 degrees. And when the outside temperature is 83 degrees, even with the window rolled down 2 inches, the temperature inside a car can reach 109 degrees in just 15 minutes.

Don’t wait to A-C-T

Griffin Hospital’s Community Outreach and Valley Parish Nursing Program has teamed up with Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley to spread the word about the dangers of leaving children in cars.

According to Safe Kids, an average of 37 children die every year (in the US?), and for every child who dies, hundreds more are rescued.
Those numbers are far too high, and it will take a concerted effort of not just parents and family members to keep children safe, but also the entire community to “ACT” and prevent tragedies:

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 that your child is in the car with you by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a 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 situations. One call could save a life.

For many of us, summer is a time of fun and family. Let’s keep it that way by taking extra good care of the children in our family and in our communities. For more information about heatstroke prevention, visit safekids.org/heatstroke

Events