National Heatstroke Prevention Day is July 31

Posted July 29, 2016 at 10:07 am     Category: News ReleasePublic Health

New Hanover County, NC — Every ten days across the United States, a child dies while unattended in a hot car, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. It only takes a few minutes for a vehicle to heat and become deadly to a child inside, especially because their body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adults. On July 31, New Hanover County’s Health Department and Safe Kids Cape Fear will recognize National Heatstroke Prevention Day to remind our community about the risks of hot cars and heatstroke.

‘’A car can heat up 19 degrees in ten minutes, and cracking a window doesn’t help,” said Julia Phelps of Safe Kids Cape Fear. “So far this year, there have been 21 deaths in the country. We don’t want to see this happen to another family.’’

That’s why Safe Kids Cape Fear, a local nonprofit coalition led by the New Hanover County Health Department, is highlighting National Heatstroke Prevention Day and asking everyone to increase awareness and help protect kids from this very preventable tragedy. As part of this initiative, Safe Kids Cape Fear is encouraging our community to ACT:

  • A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Make sure to keep cars locked when not in use, so kids cannot get in on their own. Check the vehicle first if your child goes missing, and teach them to honk the horn if they lock themselves in.
  • C: Create reminders by putting something next to your child in the back seat that you will need at your final destination, such as a briefcase, purse or cell phone. Set an alarm reminding to you to check the back seat after arriving at your final destination, which is especially important if you are not following your normal routine. Data has shown that heatstroke tragedies occur most often when the daily routine is changed.
  • T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.

Since 1998, approximately 661 children across the United States have died from heatstroke after being left in unattended vehicles that became too hot for them to survive. More than 50 percent of the children who died from heatstroke were forgotten by a caring adult who became distracted when they left the vehicle. Thirty percent of kids who died from hyperthermia were left unattended by an adult or gained entry into an unlocked vehicle and became trapped and overcome by heat.

For more information on preventing heatstroke deaths, please visit,, and On this day and every day, New Hanover County encourages our community to never leave a child alone in a car, and always look before you lock.

Release Contact:
Joshua Swift
Deputy Health Director


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