August 14, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathy Anderson
Jefferson County Community Health
(360) 385-9400 – Clinic
Port Townsend – A reminder we still have quite a bit of summer left, and the warmer weather gives us an opportunity to brush up on our Hot Weather Safety practices.There have been 32 verified deaths of children left in cars 2017. On average, according to KidsAndCars.org, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.
Car interiors heat up quickly in the sunshine. Even if the windows are cracked open, the temperature can reach 125 degrees in minutes. Even when outside temperatures are as low as 57 degrees Fahrenheit , the temperature within a car can climb to 110, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
When body temperature rises, heatstroke may occur. Also referred to as hyperthermia and heat illness, it can cause alterations in consciousness and lead to permanent brain, heart and kidney damage. In a worst-case scenario, heatstroke places a person — child or adult — at risk of death.
Children are particularly susceptible to heat because their central nervous systems are not fully developed, and this makes their bodies less able to cope with temperature changes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Children have difficulty remaining hydrated for this same reason, and their core body temperature can rise five times more quickly than that of an adult. Because the elderly also have more difficulty regulating their body temperature it is important to be attentive, assure they do not stay in a parked, unattended car. Also, during hot weather, it is recommended that neighbors check on their elderly neighbors to make sure they are okay and staying hydrated.
Hot Weather Safety Tips have been posted at the Jefferson County Public Health Website including:
Have Children on your Radar:
- IF YOU SEE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A HOT VEHICLE CALL 9-1-1
- Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don't overlook sleeping babies
- Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices
- Teach children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area
- IF A CHILD IS MISSING, ALWAYS CHECK THE POOL FIRST, AND THEN THE CAR, INCLUDING THE TRUNK
- Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver. Or place your purse, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car
- Make "Look before you Leave ‘n Lock" a routine whenever you get out of the car
- Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school
Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community