Heat and Kids in Cars

thermometer in carA simple break in routine can lead to a child forgotten in the back seat of a car. It doesn’t take a hot day for the inside of a car to turn deadly hot. A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult’s and a core body temperature of 103 degrees could lead very quickly to heat stroke. Heat stroke can be deadly and can happen quickly in children. Signs of heat stroke include high temperature, hot, dry skin (sweating stops), rapid pulse, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.

In 10 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise 19 degrees.

In 30 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise 34 degrees.

In 60 minutes, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise 43 degrees.

*Statistics from

Cracking the window open has little effect on the inside temperature because the air inside the vehicle is warmed by the solid objects in the vehicle, like the steering wheel, the dashboard, the vehicle seats, etc.


Safety Tips

  • never leave your child alone in the vehicle for any amount of time, even for a quick errand
  • have your daycare call you when your child is absent
  • get into the habit of looking at the carseat when you leave the vehicle, always, whether you have your child with you or not
  • place your wallet or purse in the back seat next to the carseat
  • teach your child not to play in any vehicle
  • if your child is missing, check your pool, then your trunk immediately
  • always lock your vehicle doors and keep your keys out of reach, even at home
  • check with your vehicle dealer to have a trunk release mechanism installed if your car doesn’t have one
  • use a windshield shade to keep the sun out of your vehicle
  • cover the carseat with a white towel when it’s not in use
  • always carry cool drinking water in your vehicle
  • if you see a child left alone in a vehicle, don’t hesitate — call 911 immediately