What Is Hot Car Death? Why Do They Happen and How to Prevent Them?

Leia Smith | 02 - 09 - 2024
Hot Car Death

What Is Hot Car Death?

Hot car death is also referred to as Pediatric Vehicular stroke, which happens when a child is left unattended in a locked hot car for a long time. The temperature inside a locked vehicle could affect the small and sensitive body of the child. Unlike adults, they lack a body surface to cool it down. A child’s body is prone to heat up five times faster than an adult. As a result of the high temperature the functions of the child’s organs will slow down one by one. Eventually, the heat lowers the blood pressure and oxygen supply to the brain. 

Major Reasons for Hot Car Death

About 50% of hot car death happens due to the memory issues of parents, 20% of death occurs when they knowingly leave the child inside the car and 25 % of death occurs when the child gets access to use the car and get trapped. Besides there are many other reasons including:

Routine Change

What is the other name of Hot car death?
  • A. Pediatric Vehicular stroke
  • B. myocardial infarction
  • C. Cerebrovascular Accident
  • D. pyrexia

Changes in the routine may affect your memory. Since you are used to habitual activities, performing a new task may be quite challenging and sometimes you may forget the newly added task. 

Sleeplessness (Insomnia)

Lack of sleep leads to many serious problems. In some instances, the parents revealed that they had interrupted sleep before the night of the incident. 

Stress / Depression

Many parents admitted they were distracted by their own thoughts or experiences during the drive which made them forget the child’s presence in the car.

How to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

  • Check the back seat before you lock and move away from the car. Do this every time even if you don’t have a baby. 
  • Keep one of your baby’s things ( Diaper, toy, or pacifier) in front of the passenger seat to alert you have a baby in the car. 
  • Place your phone, bag, and purse in the back seat so that you can check them before leaving the car.
  • If someone else is taking care of your child stay connected with them and ask them to update their whereabouts. 
  • Always make sure your car is locked.
  • Train your child how to react when they get trapped in the car. Teach them how to use the horn and how to access the passenger door. 

REMEMBER: If you see a child left alone in the car for long time, call 911 and do as per their instructions.

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