TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- It may not officially be summer but temperatures are getting warm and with it comes a tragic danger - hyperthermia that threatens young children during the summertime heat.
Hyperthermia occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate which leads to heat stroke. Heat stroke is an acute condition of hyperthermia that is caused by prolonged exposure to excessive heat and/or humidity. Tragically, this can occur when a child is left inside of a vehicle in the summertime heat or a car is left unlocked in a driveway and a child climbs into the car but is unable to get out.
•To date there have been 21 deaths in 2019 (including one in Butler County Kansas) of children due to hyperthermia (heat stroke) from being in hot vehicles with the coolest temperature being 69° so just goes to show you it doesn't have to be hot for fatalities to occur.
•Last year was an all time high of 52 such fatalities in the United States due to hyperthermia after they were left in hot cars, trucks, vans and SUV's.
•Since 1998 there have more than 806 of these needless tragedies.
•This study shows that these incidents can occur on days with relatively mild (i.e., ~ 70 degrees F) temperatures and that vehicles can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly. Just imagine the danger when the outside air temperatures exceed 100 degrees.
The following is a web site that is useful in highlighting the tragic consequences of leaving children unattended in cars during hot spells: http://noheatstroke.org/
As we continue to deal with the summertime heat here in Kansas, please remember:
•CHILDREN AND PETS SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT UNATTENDED IN VEHICLES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE DURING WARM OR HOT WEATHER WHEN CAR INTERIORS CAN REACH LETHAL TEMPERATURES IN A MATTER OF MINUTES.
•CARS CAN REACH LETHAL TEMPERATURES IN A MATTER OF MINUTES…EVEN ON RELATIVELY MILD DAYS. NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE…NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE.
Look Before you Lock! If you need to leave your wallet or one of your shoes in the backseat to remind you of a child back there, do it. This is a stat that is very easy to keep at zero.