Dangers of hot vehicles and children

Dangers of hot vehicles and children

Too many children have died in Canada from heat stroke because they were left unattended in a hot car. These deaths can be prevented. We all have a role to play in making sure another child doesn’t die because they were left alone in a hot vehicle.

Why are hot cars dangerous for kids?

  • Your car is like an oven – the temperature inside can rise VERY quickly even on days that aren’t hot
  • The temperature inside a previously airconditioned car can jump to over 50⁰C within 20 minutes on a hot day
  • Heatstroke occurs when a body’s core temperature reaches 40.5⁰C. A child’s body overheats 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s
  • When a child has heatstroke, their body creates more heat than it can release which can lead to brain damage or death

Prevent kids from dying in hot cars

  • Put something like a cell phone or purse on the backseat to remind yourself that kids are with you
  • Keep car keys out of children’s reach. This will prevent kids from accessing the car including the trunk, and getting locked inside
  • Place your child’s diaper bag or baby item on the front passenger seat to remind yourself that kids are with you
  • Never leave kids alone in or around cars
  • Teach children that cars aren’t play areas

More safety tips

  • Leaving a child alone in a hot vehicle can happen to anyone, even to the best parents and caregivers
  • Make a habit of parking, looking, and locking when you leave your car
  • If you see a child alone inside a car, call 911. Stay with the child and assist as needed.

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