This condition called hyperthermia can happen quickly without the parent realizing the dangers of leaving the child in the car alone.

Even with the windows down, the temperature in the car can rise quickly and parents should not underestimate this. Young children’s core body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s resulting in brain damage or death if not attended to.


Dangers of leaving your child in the car include:

  • Heatstroke can lead to permanent brain damage and death.
  • Climbed out of a car seat and shifted the car into gear.
  • Become ill or worse from heat or car fumes.
  • Abduction when someone broke into their car.


Signs of heatstroke:

  • An extremely high body temperature
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness


Simple steps to prevent hyperthermia (heatstroke) in young children: 

  1. Lock your vehicle to ensure that your child cannot climb in without your knowledge.
  2. Never leave your child unattended in the car. Rather take them with you or leave them at home with a caregiver.
  3. Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows down.
  4. Leaving the car running and the air conditioning on doesn't make your child any safer, even if it is just for a few minutes.
  5. Teach children about the dangers of a car. A car is NOT a toy.
  6. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition. Call for medical help if you suspect that your child has heatstroke.
  7. If your child is missing, be sure to check all vehicles and car boots immediately.
  8. When it comes to your child, their safety comes first so always think before you do anything that may put your child in danger, even if it's unintentional!

Children are not the only ones in danger when left inside cars. Pets, especially dogs, are also at risk when left unattended in vehicles as they can be very susceptible to high temperatures.



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