Nationally, vehicular heat stroke took the lives of 32 children in 2012. There has already been one such death in the East Saint Louis area this summer. As even one death is too many, Lieutenant Kenneth Ryder, Illinois State Police District 1322 commander would like to remind people to “never leave a child unattended in a vehicle; even if the engine is running and the air conditioner on or the windows partially opened.”
When outside temperatures are in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches.
Children’s bodies, in particular, overheat easily, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness or death.
Whether you are a parent, caregiver or just a concerned bystander, you can save lives from being claimed by this completely preventable tragedy.