Heat wave prompts ISP message about children, pets

From reports

With outside temperatures reaching a sweltering 95+ degrees this week, the Indiana State Police is reminding all motorists, parents, and pet owners as to the extreme dangers of leaving precious cargo unattended in a hot car. 

Even at moderate outdoor temperatures this time of year (low 70’s), a parked car with the windows up can quickly reach inside temperatures of 120 degrees or more.

As reported by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), over the past 25 years, more than 970 children have died of heatstroke, because they were left or became trapped in a hot car. It’s important for everyone to understand these tragedies can happen to anyone – but are always preventable.

Know the Facts

  • A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child is left in a vehicle, that child’s temperature can rise quickly — and the situation can quickly become dangerous.
  • Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees. 
  • A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
  • In 2023, 29 children died of heatstroke in vehicles.
  • In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths —  53 children died each year — the most in at least 25 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org. Everyone Can Help Prevent Hot Car DeathsParents and Caregivers can prevent hot car deaths by….
  • Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended for any length of time. Rolling windows down or parking in the shade does little to change the interior temperature of the vehicle.
  • Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — especially the back seat — before locking the doors and walking away. 
  • Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected. 
  • Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
  • Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.

Act Fast. Save a Life.

If you see a child alone in a locked car, act immediately and call 911. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.