Heat Stroke - Beware of How HOT Your Car Gets!

May 31, 2013 at 06:15 am by bryan

With the heat of summer coming we have this information about children involved in heat related deaths. Between 1998 and 2010, 32 children in Tennessee died from heat-related causes, with 13 of those fatalities occurring in vehicles. Two children died last year in Smyrna because their mother left them in a hot car. That incident occured in the driveway of the childrens home when the mother, Samantha Harper, says she went inside and fell asleep leaving the kids in the car. 

As the searing heat of summer rolls in, the Tennessee Department of Health is reminding residents and visitors to increase their efforts to prevent deaths from heat stroke  in cars, trucks and SUVs like the case in Smyrna.

Heat stroke can occur when a person’s temperature exceeds 104 degrees and his or her ability to handle heat is overwhelmed. The first symptoms include dizziness, disorientation and sluggishness, followed by loss of consciousness, hallucinations and rapid heartbeat. When the body’s core temperature reaches 107 degrees, internal organs often stop functioning.

A study by the San Francisco State University Geoscience Department looked at how quickly heat can rise in a vehicle. To investigate heat build-up, researchers used a dark blue mid-size sedan with a grey interior, with the windows slightly cracked open and temperatures between 72 and 96 degrees. The temperature increased inside the car was 19 degrees in 10 minutes, 29 degrees in 20 minutes, 34 degrees in 30 minutes, 43 degrees in 60 minutes and between 45 and 50 degrees in two hours.

If anyone ever sees a baby alone in a hot car, don’t be concerned a parent might get mad about you dialing 9-1-1. The parent might consider you a lifesaver.
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