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Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles Jan Null, CCM San Francisco State University SafeKids USA.

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Presentation on theme: "Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles Jan Null, CCM San Francisco State University SafeKids USA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles Jan Null, CCM San Francisco State University SafeKids USA

2 2010 Headlines  Twins die trapped inside a hot vehicle  Funeral today for girl found dead in hot van  Baby left in truck all day dies  Toddler dies after being left in hot car  Baby daughter dies after dad forgets her inside his car  Son dies after 9 hours in car  …. And 43 more similar headlines in 2010 ….

3 49

4 How Many?

5 494+

6 <1 Airbag death/yr 38 Hyperthermia/yr Airbag Deaths/yr 11 Hyperthermia/yr What Has Changed?

7 What Circumstances? 44% of “forgotten” children were to have been dropped off childcare/preschool.

8 How Old?  Average Age = 21 months

9 When?

10 Current Laws More states have laws against leaving pets in vehicles

11 What is Hyperthermia?  Child’s body less capable of cooling itself  A child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s times faster than an adult’s  Heat Stroke  Cooling system is overwhelmed at 104 ° F  Symptoms  Stops perspiring, red dry skin, faintness, staggering, strong and rapid pulse; possible delirium or coma  Death at 107 ° F

12 Hyperthermia … or severe brain damage: Before: "He was talking, walking, running and acting up,” his mother said. "He was potty trained. He was beginning to talk to us in sentences.” And now: "Demarion can't talk anymore,” she said. "He moans. He doesn't walk. He doesn't crawl. He's no longer potty trained.”

13 My Involvement?  July 2001, San Jose California  Kyle Patrick Gilbert (5 mo)  Left by 19-year-old father  Media asked “How hot did it get in the car?”  Only study was by LA State Med. Soc. for only a single 93° day

14 How Hot? How Fast?  Summer 2002 observational study  16 study days  Outside air temperatures from 72 ° - 96° F  On two days, measurements were also made with the windows “cracked” 1.5 inches

15 How Do Cars Get Hot? Incoming Shortwave Solar Radiation Warms Interior Objects Air and Windows are Transparent to Sunlight Outgoing Longwave Radiation Heats the Air

16 How Hot? How Fast?

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18 An 80° Day

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25 Vehicle Heating Summary  Nearly half of temperature rise in 10 minutes  80% in first 30 minutes  Temperatures plateau 45-50° above ambient  “Cracking” windows has minimal effect  Dark cars NOT necessarily worse than white cars  Published: Pediatrics, 2005  Updated on the Internet

26 SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

27  NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE. NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE!  IF YOU SEE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A HOT VEHICLE CALL  Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading.  Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.  Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.

28 Jan Null, CCM San Francisco State University San Francisco State University ggweather.com/heat/ ggweather.com/heat/ Thank You Questions ?


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