Kids in Hot Cars Don’t Mix

As we get into the heat of May and beyond, the temperatures rise quickly. If you think it is getting hot outside, imagine how hot it gets in your car.


Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths for children under the age of 14, with an average of 37 fatalities per year since 1998. There has been an increase in child vehicular heath stroke deaths every year since 2015.


Even when it is not too hot outside, it can get extremely hot inside the vehicle – and in just a matter of minutes.


AAA has joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind parents and caregivers to “look before you lock,” and pledge to never forget your child in the car.


Vehicular Heat-Related Statistics:

  • A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body
  • A child can die of heat stroke on a 72-degree day
  • On a 95-degree day a car can heat up to over 180-degrees
  • The steering wheel can reach 159 degrees (temperature for cooking medium rare meat)
  • The seats can reach 162 degrees (temperature for cooking ground beef)
  • The dash can reach 181 degrees (temperature for cooking poultry)
  • At 104-degrees internal organs start to shut down


AAA Urges Motorists To ACT:

  • A—Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child in the car alone, not even for a minute.
  • C—Create electronic reminders or put something in the backseat you need when exiting the car – for example, a cell phone, purse, wallet, briefcase or shoes. Always lock your car and never leave car keys or car remote where children can get to them.
  • T—Take action and immediately call 9-1-1- if you notice a child unattended in a car.

Just how quickly does your car heat up in the sun? This quickly: