Understanding the Dangers of a Hot Car

Infants and young children are not able to regulate their body heat as well as adults can, nor are they able to escape a car when the temperature rises too high. Tragically, this leads to dozens of deaths each year when parents and caregivers inadvertently leave children in the car. Even the most attentive of caregivers can make one simple mistake that can lead to the death of a child. If a child is discovered in a hot car, the Emergency Room team at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is standing by to initiate life-saving interventions.

Cars can rapidly become death traps .

Some individuals may think that it’s acceptable to leave a child in a car when they are just running into a store to grab a few items or into a gas station to pay for gas. But in fact, no amount of time in a hot car is safe for a child—not even with the windows rolled down and not even on days when temperatures are only moderately high. In California, child deaths have occurred when temperatures were in the 70s. When a child has been discovered left in a hot car, even just for a little while, it’s important to take the child to the hospital for an evaluation. The hospital’s emergency room team can evaluate the child for dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke.

No family is immune to the risks.

In most cases, families of children who have lost their lives because of heatstroke certainly never intended to place their children in harm’s way. Many families think that tragedy could never affect them in such a way, but it’s important to realize that no family is immune to this potential tragedy. Any exhausted parent or busy caregiver can make a simple mistake that can lead to the death of a child. This is why it’s important for all parents and caregivers to be mindful of the danger and to take appropriate preventive measures.

In addition to our responsive Emergency Room team, Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center features a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to provide specialized care and monitoring for children with critical health needs. If you find a child left alone in a car in the Thousand Oaks area, please call 911 immediately. Our Consult-A-Nurse line is available at (877) 888-5746 for non-emergent inquiries about our hospital services, which include cardiology and maternity care.

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