Ask a Specialist: Preventing Heatstroke Death in Cars

If you are capable of forgetting your cell phone, you are potentially capable of forgetting a sleeping child in the back seat.  As summer approaches, temperatures in a parked car can rise to life-threatening levels in minutes.  Learn more about the dangers of hot cars and get useful tips on what you can do to prevent a tragedy.  Join Cora Speck, injury prevention coordinator at The Queen’s Medical Center, in this segment of Ask a Specialist on Wake Up 2day.

Temperatures inside a parked car:

  • Within 10 minutes, up to 20 degrees hotter than outside
  • After 30 minutes, up to 34 degrees hotter
  • Can reach 117 degrees Fahrenheit

Children, pets & seniors at risk

  • They lack same internal temperature control as typical adult
  • Their temperatures rise 3 – 5x faster
  • Body may rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit in 10 – 15 minutes

Tips on preventing heatstroke deaths in cars:

  • When you buckle baby in the back seat, put something you need next to them—wallet, cell phone, etc
  • At home, ALWAYS lock your car and hide the keys
  • If you see a child, elder, or pet left in a hot car, stay with the vehicle and call 911.  Be prepared to break into the vehicle.

For opportunities to learn more about important health issues, go to


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