Even if it’s just for a few minutes
Inside a NASCAR racecar, temperatures can reach up to 140 degrees during a race.
While special equipment and training make it tolerable for professional race drivers like Jeff Burton, he wants parents and caregivers to understand that it is extremely dangerous for small children to be left alone in a car, even if it’s only for a short period of time. Safe Kids Worldwide and General Motors have been working together for the last seven years to raise awareness on this issue, especially since it is a lot easier for children to get heat exhaustion than it is for an adult.
A child’s core body temperature increases three to five times faster than an adult. Unfortunately, in the last nine years, at least 320 small children have died due to heatstroke after being trapped in or intentionally left in automobiles.
Experts say nearly 40 per cent of child hyperthermia is change-of-schedule related. An example of this is when dad takes a child to daycare instead of mom who usually does, and forgets the child is in the backseat. The temperature difference between the outside of the car and the inside can be about 45 to 50 degrees or more — and it doesn’t even have to be a hot sunny day. Temperatures can rise very quickly in a car with the windows rolled up. In fact, average tests have shown an increase of 19 to 20 degrees in just ten minutes.
For more information, go to: www.safekids.org.