Since 1990, an average of 37 children have died of heatstroke in vehicles every year in the United States, tragedies that were entirely preventable.
Murphy Police Chief Arthur Cotten pointed out that heat deaths in vehicles actually are higher when pets and the elderly are counted.
Summer months account for the most deaths as temperatures climb to triple digits, but it does not require scorching weather for a vehicle to become a dangerous oven. Cotten reported that when it is 90 degrees outside, a vehicle interior will heat to 110 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 20 minutes.
Heatstroke can occur when a body’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees, research by the Mayo Clinic showed. Children, however, are especially susceptible because their body temperature can increase three to five times faster that an adult’s.
Joe Reavis • [email protected]