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Heat Stroke, Exhaustion: How to Prevent Hot Car Child Deaths

Heat Stroke, Exhaustion: How to Prevent Hot Car Child Deaths

Heat Stroke, Exhaustion: How to Prevent Hot Car Child Deaths

One of the most devastating times in any parent’s life is when he or she loses a child. Especially if that loss could have been prevented. Here is south California, there have been lots of hot car child deaths. According to the National Safety Council, 24 Children died after being left unattended in hot cars, sometimes unintentionally. A hot car could lead to a child’s death. A daycare provider could also lead to a child's death because of negligence. Because this is a preventable accident, it has legal consequences for negligence. However, we understand that having to retain a wrongful death attorney is distressing and overwhelming.

The Way Hot Car Child Deaths Occur

There are various factors that contribute to the hot car child deaths accidents. The important thing to know is that our bodies, as adults, are different than children’s bodies. A child’s body is very small. Heat travels a lot faster in children’s body. And that is why there is an increased probability of death for children in hot cats. 

Our bodies shut down when the body temperature reaches a certain level. At 104 degrees, the body organs begin shutting down. It is not hard to reach that temperature level. It only takes 10 minutes for the car to reach that level when the temperature outside is 86 degrees. With how fast the temperate gets to 104, and how small children’s bodies are, the likelihood of a hot car child death increases. 

Symptoms of Heat stroke and heat exhaustion

The increasing temperature of our outer environment affects our body temperature as well. As briefly explained, the body organs shut down at 104 degrees. Heat stroke is the condition that we get when the temperature increases in our bodies. Heat strokes can occur very quickly at high temperatures outside. The symptoms of heat stroke are the following:

  • High fever of 104 degrees and up
  • Quick and rapid shallow breathing
  • Weakened pulse
  • Seizure 
  • Confusion
  • Irrational behavior

On the other hand, heat exhaustion that has the following symptoms:

  • Dark urine
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheartedness
  • Nausea 
  • Damp skin 
  • headaches

How can you prevent hot car child deaths

The good thing is that these accidents are easily preventable. They are not common accidents. To prevent these accidents, you just have to be aware and careful. Do not leave your children in the car even if you are making a quick stop. If your children are cared for by any other party, make sure they never leave your child in a car unattended. Furthermore, teach your children to hunk the car horn if they are left alone. 

Things you should do in the instance of heat stroke or exhaustion

The first thing you should do is to seek medical attention. Depending on how bad the situation is, first aid could suffice at the beginning. Have someone in a cooler environment to raise the injured person’s feet up. In addition, wet towels applied on the skin directly on the neck and armpits helps reduce the temperature. You can also have the affected person drink a sports drink like Gatorade. 

If the case is extreme, you should call 911. Never underestimate heat strokes and exhaustion. 


Alexander D. Napolin, Esq.