Although Southwest Florida is beautiful year around, the temperature rises and we experience hot and humid weather during the spring and summer months. This excess heat and humidity creates health hazards, especially for kids. A child’s small body is unable to regulate internal body temperature, and increases in temperature 3-5 times faster than adults when exposed to heat. When a baby or small child is fastened in a car seat, there is no method of escaping if they become too warm.
In Florida, it is illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle – even when “just running into a store;” a short period of time in a hot vehicle can cause major injuries or death to a child. Nonetheless, these tragedies happen every day, and cracking a window is not enough to prevent an accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the inside temperature of a vehicle siting directly in sunlight can increase anywhere from 131 to 172 degrees Fahrenheit on an 80 to 100-degree day. A child can experience heatstroke if his body temperature reaches 104 degrees; an internal body temperature of 107 degrees is fatal.
What are the statistics behind vehicle-related heat injuries and death?
You can take many precautions to prevent kids from being left and injured in a hot car, Safekids.org suggests:
Parvey & Frankel strongly encourage parents and individuals to prevent the unfortunate death of a child by keeping these tips in mind during our hot and humid, Southwest Florida springs and summers. Most parents are convinced they could never accidently leave a child in the car, but distractions can make even the best parents forget to check the backseat before leaving their child in the car.[ssba]