Heat and Car Safety
The temperature inside a car can heat up quickly, creating an environment that could seriously harm or even kill a child.
When the outside air temperature reaches 23°C, the temperature inside a vehicle can be extremely dangerous – more than 50°C. Opening the car window slightly does not keep the temperature at a safe level.
Why parked cars are dangerous:
Young children, especially infants, are much more sensitive to heat than adults. Rising temperatures inside a car can produce significant heat stress on children causing severe dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke that may result in serious illness or death.
What parents and caregivers need to know:
- Never leave your child in an unattended car, even with the windows open.
- Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars.
- Always lock car doors and trunks when parked in the driveway or near your home so that children do not play in them and become trapped.
- Check to make sure that all children leave the vehicle when you arrive at your destination. Don’t overlook sleeping infants and young children.
- Check the temperature of your child’s safety seat surface and safety belt buckles before restraining children in the car. Your child’s skin can be severely burned in one second if it touches car seat surfaces that are over 65°C.
- Keep car keys out of reach and sight of children.
If your child gets locked inside a car, call 911 immediately.
Watch for symptoms of heat related illnesses:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid breathing and heartbeat
- Extreme thirst
If your child experiences any of these symptoms move them to a cool place and offer water. If the symptoms continue, call 911 immediately.