KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Heat stroke is deadly and young children are at the greatest risk of becoming victims. An average of 37 kids die in hot cars every year across the country, and Dr. Katy Stordahl with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says each of those deaths could have been prevented.
Stordahl says the tragedies usually happen when a child is forgotten by a caregiver or when a child plays in an unattended vehicle.
When a child has heat stroke, his or her core temperature reaches 104 degrees, quickly leading to possible brain damage or even death. A child’s body can heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s body.
Stordahl says to never leave a child alone in a vehicle, even for a minute. Even the best parents can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car.
Always check the backseat every time you exit the car. Put something like a cell phone or purse in the back seat that will require you to check. Always lock the car and keep keys out of reach.
Take action if you see a child alone in a car. Call 911. One call could save a life.