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Vehicular Heatstroke - Facts & Prevention

Extreme heatwaves are serious threats to our well-being, life, and health. When extreme heat gets trapped inside a locked vehicle, these risks are prone to grow exponentially. The temperature inside a vehicle parked in the sun on a scorching summer day can reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit in 6 minutes, because of the greenhouse effect that occurs inside, even if the windows have been cracked open.  What is even more concerning is that the body of a child will overheat two or three times quicker compared to the body of an adult. There are numerous cases of children who have lost their lives in hot cars in spite of the exterior temperature never going higher than 60 degrees. The statistics speak about an average of around 37 children who unfortunately lose their lives on a yearly basis because of the vehicular heatstroke phenomenon. Pets are also extremely vulnerable to the same phenomenon, which is why prevention is essential.

Why Vehicular Heatstroke Prevention Is Keyheat stroke

Prevention is critical when it comes to the tremendous risks associated with vehicular heatstroke. For this, never leaving your children or pets in a heated car in the summer is an absolute rule of thumb. No matter how quick of an errand you might need to run or what kind of a last-minute emergency might force you to lock the doors behind you and have them wait for you there, don't do it.  However, if the inevitable has already happened and you are dealt with a tragic occurrence in front of your eyes, knowing how to handle the early symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke will also make a huge difference in saving actual lives. As a parent, a caregiver, or a simple bystander noticing a small child or a pet in distress inside a locked car in extreme temperatures, you should be prepared to react as soon as possible to limit the risk of fatalities.  Accidents can occur anytime, anywhere, especially when curious kids or pets get inside the car or trunk of your vehicle without your knowledge in the summer. Kids falling asleep and being forgotten there or knowingly left there by parents who refuse to ruin their sleep during long car rides are also part of the reality.

Special Vehicular Stroke Prevention Technologies and Apps

The goods news is there are ways of effectively preventing such accidents.

  • The use of special apps and technology that can alert the driver in the event of a child or pet getting left on the backseat once the engine is off is one of them.
  • WAZE, a popular interactive map application could allow drivers to receive similar reminders letting them know there is a child in the backseat when reaching their destination or turn their car off.
  • These high-tech gadgets are definitely worth looking into, but simpler solutions could work just as well.
  • For instance, making a habit out of leaving an item that you always have on you (your smartphone, wallet, or a purse) in the backseat with your pet or child, as an additional precaution measure or tying a colored threat connecting the car keys with the child seat or your pet's collar.
  • Children could wear safety bracelets that should serve as efficient reminders not to leave them behind when getting out of the car.
  • The National Safety Council also recommends the use of reminders that will sound car seat alarms or show messages on the dashboard, letting drivers know they should first check the rear seats before exiting the vehicle.

Keep Your Cool And Call For Help In Time

There are several scenarios in which a child or a beloved pet might accidentally remain locked in a car and be subject to the risk of heatstroke.

  • You are a passerby and you notice a child or a pet in distress, locked in a car on a day with high temperatures.
  • You are a parent or caregiver and you have accidentally locked the kids inside the car, along with the car keys.
  • Your children or pets have been left unsupervised and they have accidentally locked themselves inside the car or truck.
  • A broken car door lock mechanism has triggered an accidental car lockdown with your kids or pets as the main entrapped victims.

If you find yourself in any of these situations, grab a phone and immediately call 911 and ask for emergency help. Another good idea is to call a professional car locksmith service in your immediate proximity. Every second counts and the sooner you can unlock the car and offer them assistance, the more likely you are to prevent a tragedy from happening.  Of course, you could also try to personally unlock one of the doors or the trunk using any object that would not further jeopardize the safety of your child or pet.  The main advantage of using an expert car locksmith is the fact that they use specialized lock picking tools suitable for all types of car models and makes. This will considerably shorten the process, and mobile teams are available 24/7, which means they could rapidly reach you and help you potentially save a life.

How To Recognize The Signs Of A Vehicular Heatstroke

The main symptoms of a potential heat stroke are, as follows:

  • fast pulse
  • flushed skin
  • extremely hot and dry skin
  • heavy sweating
  • fever of at least 104 F
  • fainting
  • a state of dizziness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • a feeling of disorientation
  • internal organ failure
  • brain damage
  • alterations in the behavior or mental status of the child, including slurred speech issues or a state of agitation

If you notice one or several of these symptoms in your child, seek immediate emergency care by calling 911 or a local emergency number. Move your child out of the car and into a cool space as soon as possible and remove any excess clothing. Try to cool down their body's temperature using cold water, a cool shower, or a cool tub of water, by spraying them with a garden hose, using wet towels, ice packs, a powerful fan, or sponges with cool water placed on the armpits, neck, and groin area. These are the most important "how to prevent pediatric vehicular heatstroke" steps you should know.  Avoid giving them any drinks that are rich in sugar, alcohol, or caffeine, or any cold drink that could lead to stomach cramps. Have them hydrate with water and be ready to begin CPR in case they lose if consciousness or they are not able to breathe, move, or cough.  Maintain the locks on your car in good shape all year long by following the right maintenance protocols. We are here to help you make sure your locks and key fobs work flawlessly 24/7 to prevent a hot car stroke.