The National Weather Service has recently issued severe weather warnings for much of the United States due to excessive heat and humidity. High temperatures and extreme humidity will push the heat index to well over 100 degrees throughout most of the country.
Unfortunately, these extremely hot conditions have already caused fatalities. A mother in Maryland has been arraigned after leaving her two kids - aged 20 months and 3 months - in a sweltering car for seven hours. This entirely avoidable tragedy is known as vehicular hyperthermia.
Vehicular Hyperthermia: Leaving Kids in Cars
Leaving children unattended in a vehicle is always a bad idea, but it can be lethal when the temperatures are high. Visit our Vehicular Hyperthermia Resource Guide for more information on just how dangerous vehicular hyperthermia can be.
Even in only mild heat, vehicular hyperthermia is a serious problem; in these extremely hot conditions, even an adult could be in serious danger if left in a car too long. Temperatures in cars quickly become hotter than the already hot external temperatures, quickly causing the onset of heat-related illnesses and eventual death.
These extremely hot conditions can also cause a wide variety of other serious health issues including heat stroke, severe sunburn and dehydration. These conditions are especially hazardous to young children and the elderly, but even well-conditioned athletes are susceptible to the effects of high temperatures. Please, we hope you’ll do your part to help prevent heat-related illnesses; stay in cool, shaded places whenever possible and do everything you can to stay hydrated.