Claudann Jones Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

With COVID-19 still a threat, parents may be tempted to leave a child in the vehicle while they run into the store. Leaving a child in a vehicle, which can quickly heat up, is always a dangerous idea — even if it is for a very short time.

Children are more at risk for heatstroke since a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult. Heatstroke can occur at body temperatures above 104 degrees. Even mild outside temperatures can pose a threat, but with Texas temperatures soon climbing into the upper 90s each day, the danger becomes even greater. The problem is that temperatures in parked vehicles rise very quickly. According to figures from San Francisco State University’s Department of Geosciences, in just 10 minutes, the temperature inside of a vehicle can increase by almost 20 degrees.

There are other safety concerns with unsupervised children around cars — including back-overs, the risk of children releasing the gear shift or engaging electric windows, and even becoming trapped inside vehicles or trunks. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, approximately 39 percent of back-over deaths occurred at home.

Drivers in back-over and front-over deaths are often family members or family friends of the child.

Let’s all work together to keep our kids safe this summer!

For more information, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension agent for family and community Health, at 903-590-2980 or email at Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County.

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