Vehicular Heatstroke Prevention
Preventing a Vehicular Heatstroke Epidemic in Texas
Texas weather is starting to get warmer as we near the summer season, and with the rising temperatures the number of pediatric vehicular heatstroke cases will also rise.
Once again, the state of Texas ranked No 1 in fatal cases of child car heatstroke accidents, according to statistics from noheatstroke.org in the last 22 years 132 children under the age of 14 have died in our state due to vehicular heatstroke.
Prestige ER is committed to helping reduce the number of pediatric car heatstroke cases in our state; saving the lives of the members of our community is our reason for being.
The good news is, car heatstroke accidents are 100% preventable, together we can bring the number of fatalities down, all that is required is being vigilant and present of mind whenever we have our children in the car.
Most tragedies occur when something out of the ordinary happens that disrupts parents or caregiver’s routines. When we are distracted, it is easy to forget that a sleeping child is in the backseat of our cars.
Image source: noheatstroke.org
What Causes Heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a potentially fatal condition caused by our bodies overheating. The rise in body temperature is due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Things to Know About Vehicular Heatstroke
- The interior temperature of a car parked outdoors can quickly reach 125°F or higher
- The weather doesn’t need to be extremely hot to endanger a child left in a vehicle.
- If a patient’s core body temperature reaches 107°F or more cells are damaged, and internal organs begin to shut down.
- Children’s thermoregulatory mechanism is not as efficient as those of adults, because of this, a child’s body can overheat 3-5 times faster.
- Cracking a window will NOT prevent the car from overheating, nor will it slow down the heating process.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
- Body temperature that exceeds 104°F
- Patient’s skin is flushed but dry (no signs of sweating)
- The patient is disoriented, or confused
- Nausea and Vomiting
- A throbbing headache
- Rapid heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
What to do in Case of Vehicular Heatstroke
Vehicular heatstroke requires immediate emergency medical attention if you unknowingly left your child in a hot car, call 911 and have them transport the child to our facility as quickly as possible.
Act fast to cool down the child while help arrives, take the child out of the car, and place it in a shaded area; if the child is conscious try to give them some water to drink.
How to Prevent Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke Accidents from Happening?
A parent’s worst nightmare is to realize they have left their child locked inside the car on a sunny day. No loving parent or caregiver would ever want to harm their child intentionally, but, sometimes even the best parents can become overwhelmed by work, relationships, or a series of events that disrupts their daily routines.
To ensure you never inadvertently leave a child in the car remember to:
- Check the car’s back seat before you lock the doors and walk away
- Never leave a child unattended in a car, not even for a minute
- A simple trick to remind yourself your child is in the vehicle with you is to place one of their toys in the front of the car.
- Coordinate with your child’s teacher or caregiver to contact you whenever your child doesn’t arrive at the scheduled time, you might have forgotten to drop them off, and they are still in the car with you.
- Lock your car so children cannot enter it to play or take a nap.
- Keep car keys out of children’s reach.
Together, We Can Help Save Children’s Lives!
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Prestige ER is honored to serve the residents and those passing through Plano and surrounding cities like Frisco and Allen, we hope that you have a lovely Summer 2018 filled with happy memories. By better understanding vehicular heatstroke and other emergencies, you will have a greater likelihood to prevent a trip to the ER. Please keep in mind that Prestige ER is Open 24/7 every day of the year, if you need us, we are here for you.
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