Health Department warns parents about rising temps in vehicles

OKLAHOMA – The climbing temperatures could prove dangerous for Oklahoma children.

According to the Oklahoma State Health Department, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a car.

“A child’s body temperature increases much quicker, about three to five times quicker than an adult,” Avy Redus, with the OSDH Injury Prevention Service, said Thursday.

More than half of the children who die inside hot cars were simply forgotten in the back seat.

However, up to one-third of these heat-related deaths occurred when a child was playing in an unlocked vehicle and became trapped inside.

“If they’re playing around your vehicle, they like to get inside,” Redus said. “(They) crawl in through the seats and then into the trunk.”

We conducted our own test Thursday – and even with the window rolled down – our thermometer went from 92 degrees to 96 in just one minute.

It reached 100 degrees less than a minute later.

It jumped ten degrees in the car (102 degrees) in just four minutes, and climbed 22 degrees (114 degrees) in just nine minutes.

At that point, we rolled the window up, waited just four more minutes, and watched the temperature climb seven more degrees – up to 121 degrees.

Katie Mueller, with Safe Kids Oklahoma, says parents should leave a shoe, purse or cell phone in the back seat to help them remember about the precious cargo they’re carrying.

Another reminder can be attached to a key chain.

“Then they put a bright streamer (on it), even a bright ribbon, write their child’s name on the ribbon and that just reminds (them) when they take their keys, ‘oh, the ribbon is attached. The child is in the back’,” Mueller said.

While parked at home, the OSHD advises parents to hide their keys from their kids and keep the doors locked.

If someone else is driving your child, they recommend calling or texting that caregiver with a reminder.

If you ever see a child left alone in a car, Redus says call 911.