Since 1998, more than 550 children across the United States have died
from heatstroke while unattended in cars.
SafeKids Wyoming is working to ensure that no child is left alone in a car, not even for a minute.
Heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, is a condition that occurs when
the body isn't able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature
rises to dangerous levels. When the sun is out, and even on cloudy days,
the inside of a car can become much hotter than the temperature outside.
In just 10 minutes a car can heat up 19 degrees. On an 80 degree day,
the inside of a closed car can quickly exceed 100 degrees. Cracking a
window does not help keep the inside of a car cool.
Children are at great 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, the child can die. Symptoms of heatstroke
may include dizziness; disorientation; agitation; confusion; sluggishness;
seizure; hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty; loss of consciousness;
rapid heartbeat or hallucinations.
"We want the community to be aware of the dangers of hyperthermia
and to gain perspective on such tragic incidents that can occur, such
as an incident in Gillette several years ago," says Diana Shannon,
SafeKids Campbell County Coordinator says. "Unfortunately, no one is immune to this kind of
tragedy. Parents and caregivers can cut down the number of deaths and
near misses 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, 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.
You can help us spread the word to your community to stop these preventable
tragedies. Additional prevention information can be found at
safekids.org/heatstroke, and statistics on child heatstroke deaths can be found at
ggweather.com/heat. Download the SafeKids fact sheet on Hyperthermia at
Safe Kids Campbell County provides our community with
free car seat checks by appointment, safety seat
events, bike rodeos and much more to help educate our children. Learn more at