Since 1998, The Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University have reported that there have been 804 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths in the United States, where more than half of the deaths are children under two years of age. In 2019, there have been a total of nine deaths reported, with two deaths reported in Arizona.

In an effort to reduce the likelihood of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles, the Lake Havasu City Police Department would like to remind the community to take precautionary measures when placing children in vehicles. As the temperatures rise in Arizona’s atmosphere, so does the radiant temperature inside a vehicle. Objects inside a vehicle will collect the sun’s heat and produce a convection of longwave radiation that warms the air inside the vehicle at an increased rate. In as little as five minutes, a vehicle’s interior temperature can raise in excess of ten degrees. The body temperature of children can increase three to five times faster than adults.  Heat stroke begins when the body passes 104 degrees.  

As a preventive measure, parents and caregivers should never leave a child unattended in a vehicle at any time. It is encouraged that purses and other personal items be placed in the back seat to remind vehicle occupants to always check the interior for children. By conducting a routine “look before you lock” check of the vehicle, you can ensure that all occupants have been safely removed.

Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke is preventable. If you observe a child left unattended in a vehicle, you are encouraged to contact the Lake Havasu City Police Department at the number below or by dialing 9-1-1.

For more information on safety recommendations and precautionary measures, visit the San Jose State University’s Department of Meteorology and Climate Science website.

Public Information Officer:  Detective Chris Angus


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