Increased Temperatures Means Increased Dangers to Children – Kids and Cars Canada

by John McKiggan

Today is the first official day of summer, and parts of Canada are in the middle of a heat-wave. So I thought it would be appropriate to post another warning about the dangers the warm weather poses to children in cars.

Studies have shown that the temperatures inside a parked car left in direct sunlight can rise quickly to over 40 degrees Celsius (102 F) to over 70 degrees Celsius (170 F).

Heat Stroke

When air temperature increases above our body’s temperature (about 37 Celsius) our body has trouble transfering heat out of our body into the air resulting in heat stroke. The problem is even more pronounced with infants because they have a smaller surface area to dissipate heat.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can quickly cause serious brain injury or death.

Signs and Symptoms

Unfortunately babies can’t tell us when they are in distress. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke to look for are:

A fast pulse that becomes weaker over time;

Skin that is hot and dry to the touch;

Laboured or noisy breathing;

Red or flushed skin;


Seizure-like convulsions;


Every year dozens of children die because they suffer heat stroke after being left unattended in motor vehicles.

Kids and Cars has some simple reminders to help parents and children be safe during the warm summer months: BE SAFE

B – Backseat: Put something in the backseat of your car that will remind you to look at the backseat when you reach your destination. Something you cannot do without like your cellphone or your wallet or purse.

E – Every Child: Every child should be placed in a proper car seat or restraining with an appropriate booster seat.

S – Stuffed Animal: Keep a stuffed animal like a teddy bear in your child’s car seat. When you place your child in the car seat, put the teddy bear beside you in the front passenger seat. When you get to your destination, if the teddy bear is up front with you it is a reminder that your baby is in the back seat.

A – Ask Your Sitter: Ask your babysitter or daycare provider to call you if your child has not arrived at the usual time.

F – Focus on Driving: One of the major causes of heat-related deaths is distracted driving. When parents become distracted from their usual routine, they forget that they have passengers on board.

E – Every Time: Make sure you check the back seat of your car every time you park to make sure that no one is left behind.

You can get more information at our website

Here is to having a happy and safe summer.

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