Did you know that vehicular-related heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related fatalities for children 14 and younger?
As July 31st is National Heatstroke Prevention Day,
we are joining millions of Americans in bringing awareness to this important issue. Many people think that heatstroke only occurs after exposure to extreme heat for a long period of time. While this can be true, heatstroke can happen to anyone at any time, particularly in a vehicle.
To help educate you about this important topic, let us share some facts with you about heatstroke prevention.
First, and importantly, do you know how to spot the signs of heatstroke? Symptoms may manifest differently depending on the victim, however, some of the most common symptoms include red, hot, and moist skin, a throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, a strong rapid pulse or a weak slower pulse, confusion, and a lack of sweat. While summer is the peak time for these accidents to occur, heatstroke fatalities have occurred in vehicles parked in the shade, with outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees fahrenheit.
To help protect your children from vehicular-related heatstroke, we encourage you to never leave a child unattended alone in a hot car. In the span of 10 minutes, a car can heat up by 20 degrees, enough to kill a child left alone in the vehicle. Further, a child’s body temperature rises as much as three to five times faster than an adult’s. This is especially true in Florida, where the summer months can bring extreme temperatures. Always check the back seat of your vehicle before leaving and locking your vehicle.
If you see a child alone in a vehicle, do not hesitate to check on the child. If the child is unresponsive, it is imperative that you call 911 immediately. If the child is responsive but appears to be in distress, you may attempt to get inside the vehicle. Many states have “Good Samaritan” laws that shield you from liability in the course of a rescue attempt. If the child is responsive, you may want to try to find the child’s parents or locate a law enforcement officer to stay with the child.
Most importantly, if you believe you or your child is suffering from heatstroke, seek medical attention immediately.
Do you have questions? We are your local community law firm here to help you. Do not wait to contact us at any time, day or night.