NHTSA National Heatstroke Prevention Day: July 31

Launched and coordinated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Heatstroke Prevention Day is July 31.  This campaign is designed to remind everyone that heatstroke can be deadly, especially for children in hot cars. 

The NHTSA encourages the public to spread awareness so that we can prevent deaths.  According to the NHTSA, one child dies from heatstroke in a hot car every 10 days in the United States.  Since 1998, our country has seen over 800 children become heatstroke fatalities.

Heatstroke Symptoms

Heatstroke can happen quickly when the body overheats, especially in the young and the elderly.  Symptoms of this condition may include nausea and vomiting, confusion, rapid breathing or a quick heart rate.

Heatstroke is blamed for over 600 child and adult deaths in the United States each year. 

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion, the precursor to heat stroke, may be accompanied by muscle cramps, nausea, headache, dizziness, goosebumps, fatigue, heavy sweating, or a rapid pulse.  If an individual develops these symptoms, whether suddenly or not, it’s critical to get the person out of the sun and into the shade or air conditioning, remove or loosen clothing, and cool down the person by spraying cool water mist and placing ice in the armpits and groin.  The person should drink plenty of water.

Preventing Heatstroke

Heatstroke affecting children in hot cars can be prevented.  Check out the following crucial tips from the NHTSA site on heatstroke prevention[1]:

  • Don’t ever leave a child alone in a parked car – even if the air conditioning is on or windows are down. According to the NHTSA website, “A child’s body temperature can rise three to five times faster than the body of an adult. A core body temperature of 107 degrees is lethal.”
  • Always check the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door.  Think of ways to help you remember to check the vehicle.  For example, you can leave your purse or phone in the backseat or leave a note for yourself on the dashboard or on your phone.  You create a habit of calling your spouse or a friend when you drop your child off.
  • According to NHTSA, “Heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.”
  • Don’t let children play in an unattended vehicle – they could accidently lock themselves in.
  • When you leave your vehicle, check that nobody is in the car, and lock the vehicle as well as the trunk.  Never allow a child to access keys – keep them out of reach!  If a child is missing, quickly check the vehicles including the trunk.

If you see a child alone in a vehicle:

  • Check to see if the child is responsive. If the child is not responsive, call 911 immediately.
  • If the child appears to be healthy, try to find the parents or get in touch with security or management of the facility to find the owner.
  • If the child is not responsive and is in suffering, help the child!  Break the window if necessary!  Most states have “Good Samaritan” laws designed to protect people in case of an emergency.”[2]

Kids in hot vehicles can be deadly.  Don’t take the chance. NHTSA reminds you to always “Look Before You Lock.”[3]To learn more about heatstroke safety, click here.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333. 

[1] National Highway Safety Transportation Administration  https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/child-safety

[2] National Highway Safety Transportation Administration  https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/child-safety

[3] National Highway Safety Transportation Administration  https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/child-safety