John R. Yannaccone, PE, Senior Mechanical Engineer Expert ::::
As we approach the spring/summer season, the risk of hyperthermia, also known as heatstroke, returns to threaten young children. Each year, children are left, or trapped in a vehicle, exposing them to elevated temperatures. Tragedies related to children being exposed to high temperatures inside a vehicle have been frequently reported in the news over the last few years, but it is not a new phenomenon.
In fact, since 1998, an average of 37 children each year have died from heatstroke as a result of being inside a hot car. In the first 6 months of 2018, twenty children have died from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle. While the reason children find themselves stranded in a sweltering vehicle vary, over 50 percent of the children, who fell victim, were forgotten by their parent or caregiver. Almost 25 percent became trapped while playing in the passenger compartment or trunk of the car. Nearly one in five children who have died from heatstroke in a vehicle were intentionally left in the vehicle by an adult.
The cause of high temperatures inside the vehicle is well known; the energy from the sun heats the inside of the vehicle, creating a greenhouse effect. This is commonly experienced when we get into a car that has been sitting in the sun all day. Continue reading “Car Seat Expert Discusses: Hot Weather Risks to Children in Cars”