Summer Weather Safety: Don't Leave a Child in a Hot Vehicle
From January to June 20, 2022, there have been five vehicular heatstroke deaths in the country – two of those were in Harris County, Texas.
Texas leads the nation in hot car deaths among children. From January to June 20, 2022, there have been five vehicular heatstroke deaths in the country – two of those were in Harris County, Texas. They were a 5-year-old (June 20) and a 10-month-old (May 20).
On Tuesday, Cook Children's set up a digital thermometer display and a vehicle demonstration to raise awareness of hot car dangers and show how high the internal temperatures of a vehicle can soar.
Dana Walraven, manager of Community Health Outreach at Cook Children’s and coordinator with Safe Kids North Texas Fort Worth, shared advice for parents and caregivers as temperatures remain in the 90s and 100s.
Young children are particularly at risk for heatstroke, or hyperthermia, because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. Because cars heat up so quickly tragedies can happen faster than you think. Creating reminders like putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as one of your shoes, a purse or a cell phone is especially important on days when you're not following a normal routine.
So far this summer, MedStar Emergency crews have responded to three incidents where a child was left in a hot car in Tarrant County; all were under 4 years old.
A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And cracking a window doesn’t help.
To reduce the number of child vehicular heatstroke deaths, parents should remember to ACT:
Avoid heatstroke-related injury by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunks— including in your driveway or garage. If a child goes missing, check the pool first, and then check the vehicles, including trunks.
Create reminders. Routinely place something you'll need at your next stop—like a purse, briefcase or cellphone—in the backseat.
Take Action. If you see a child alone in a car, take action. Call 911.
About Cook Children's
Cook Children’s Health Care System embraces an inspiring Promise – to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re proud of our long and rich tradition of serving our community. Our not-for-profit organization is comprised of nine companies, including our Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Pediatric Surgery Center, Health Plan, Health Services Inc., Child Study Center and Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and urgent care locations throughout Texas, families can access our top-ranked specialty programs and network of services to meet the unique needs of their child. For 100 years, we’ve worked to improve the health of children from across our primary service area of Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. We combine the art of caring with leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child. This has earned Cook Children’s a strong, far-reaching reputation with patients traveling from around the country and the globe to receive life-saving pediatric care. For more information, visit cookchildrens.org.