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EPC Committee Provides Tips To Prevent and Respond To Child Vehicular Heat Stroke

Jun 22, 2015

Taken from a release issued by the
NAEMT Emergency Pediatric Care (EPC) Committee.

Approximately 38 children die each year from vehicular heat stroke predominantly during the summer months. So far, 5 children have died of vehicular heat stroke this year and summer has not even started.

Historically, 51% of these accidents occur because parents unintentionally forget their child in the car, often due to distraction or a change in routine.

It happens to the rich and poor, well-educated and less educated, women and men, in the city and rural communities alike.  There is no common narrative of the caregiver who has experienced this tragedy and most assume it will never happen to them.

As impassioned advocates for children, the EPC Committee wants to provide preventative tips to avoid these heart-breaking tragedies.

  • Never leave a child alone in a car! Ever.
  • Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID on the floor board in the back seat.
  • Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle.
  • Always lock your car even if it is in your driveway or garage. If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk.
  • Make arrangements with your child’s day care center, babysitter, or school that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled and they are to call you if the child does not arrive as planned.

 Management of pediatric hyperthermia includes:

  1. Extricate the child immediately and move to a cool environment
  2. Provide oxygen with BVM or other airway adjuncts as necessary
  3. Remove all clothing and apply ice packs to axilla, groin, and neck
  4. Administer IV fluids
  5. Transport by ground or air to a pediatric center if possible

There is truly no greater tragedy for parents or EMS practitioners than to suffer the loss of a child, especially one due to vehicular heat stroke. Quick action can save a young life!