Heatstroke leading killer of children; safety council offers prevention advice

Wood County Safe Communities


Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been seven fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2017, compared to four for the same time frame in 2016.

Outside of crashes, heatstroke is the number one vehicle-related killer of children in the United States. In fact, in 2016, there were 39 preventable deaths of children in vehicles, a 63-peercent increase from 2015.

Simple steps for caregivers to prevent heatstroke:

  • Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended. Even for a minute.
  • Make it a habit to look in the back seat when exiting the car – every time.
  • Always lock the car and put the keys out of reach of children.

Simple steps for bystanders to prevent heatstroke:

  • Make sure the child is OK and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.
  • If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents or have the facility’s security or management page the car owner over the PA system.
  • If there is someone with you, have one person actively search for the parent while the other waits at the car.
  • If the child is not responsive or appears to be in distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child – even if that means breaking a window.

A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult, and heatstroke can occur with outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach a deadly heat level in just about 10 minutes.

Look Before You Lock.