FORT MILL, SC — If you think it’s hot outside, it’s probably even hotter in your car.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says a car’s temperature can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes.
Road safety officials say you should never leave a child alone in a car, even with windows down and air conditioning on.
What you need to know
- According to NHTSAin just 10 minutes the temperature of your car can rise 20 degrees
- Highway safety officials say the number of children dying from heatstroke in cars has increased in recent years
- The North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal says the state ranks sixth in the nation for heatstroke deaths in children under 14
The North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal says the state ranks sixth in the nation for heatstroke deaths in children under 14. They say that any sunstroke in a car is preventable.
On Monday, Britax, a car seat company just across the border in South Carolina, raised awareness on the subject.
In addition to giving free safety checks for car seats, Britax had a thermometer display Monday that showed how hot it was outside versus how hot it was in a car.
The display showed that it was 91.4 degrees outside, but the inside temperature was 156 degrees.
Amanda Renwald, a health educator with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, says parents leave children in cars more than people realize.
According to the NCOSFMMore than 50% of children who died of heat stroke in a vehicle were forgotten by a parent or guardian.
“A lot of times parents get in and go to the grocery store or go somewhere like they’re going to work and usually don’t have their child with them,” she said. “Sometimes simple things like this can just make a caregiver forget they have that child in the back of the vehicle.”
She recommends a few things parents can do to prevent this.
“So we emphasize the importance of leaving anything in the back seat next to your car seat next to your child, whether it’s your wallet or your phone,” she said. “Something to make you go back and grab it and make you realize your kid is in the back seat. Because it’s very easy to forget. I know parents are very busy, especially when you have a newborn or have several children. It’s very easy to forget and it happens to the best of us, it happens to the best parents.”
The NHTSA says never leave a child unattended in a car, even with the windows open, the engine running and the air conditioning on.