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Look before you lock: Keeping kids safe from hot cars

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Summer is in full swing. And with all that summer fun, comes the summer heat.

Health experts say the temperature of a car can heat up 20 degrees in just ten minutes.

They say while parents never intentionally intend to leave their child, any change in routine could cause them to forget.

Some tips to help remember include leaving a stuffed animal in the front seat as a reminder - attaching a smaller stuffed animal to your keys - or even leaving your left shoe in the back seat.

"Actually one of the things about children, they don't have the same temperature regulation mechanisms that adults do. They actually, when they start to overheat it can cause internal damage to their cells and internal organs," said Alyssa Sackett, Emergency Nurse Educator.

Sackett adds if you see an unattended child in a car to call emergency services immediately.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says parents should keep these facts in mind when trying to keep kids safe this summer:

  • Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under 15.
  • Heatstroke can happen when the body is not able to cool itself quickly enough.
  • A child's body heats up three to five times faster than an adult does. 
    • When left in a hot car, a child's major organs begin to shut down when his temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
    • A child can die when his temperature reaches 107 degrees F.
  • Cracking a window and/or air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is turned off.
  • Heatstroke can happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees.
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Emily Schrad

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