Search IconSearch

Dangers of Leaving Child in Hot Car

As the temperatures soar, an emergency medicine physician highlights the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car.

Media Contact

Cleveland Clinic News Service | 216.444.0141

We’re available to shoot custom interviews & b-roll for media outlets upon request.

Media Downloads

CCNS health and medical content is consumer-friendly, professional broadcast quality (available in HD), and available to media outlets each day.

images: 0

video: 0

audio: 0

text: 0

CLICK HERE to download soundbites, b-roll, script and web article.

For download password, contact ccnewsservice@ccf.org.

CLEVELAND - Each year, about 40 children die from heatstroke because they were either left or became trapped inside a hot car.

Vehicles can heat up to dangerous levels in minutes, and kids are especially vulnerable to those extreme temperatures.

“Children have a very high BMR, which is a basal metabolic rate – so their temperature climbs almost three to five times faster, and they lose sweat slower,” explained Purva Grover, MD, emergency medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s

Dr. Grover stressed that while hot car deaths are tragic, they’re also preventable.

It’s important to remember temperatures inside a vehicle can rise nearly 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.

That’s why Dr. Grover said it’s never safe to leave a child inside a car unsupervised for any amount of time.

And while it may seem unthinkable, it can be easier than you think to get out of your car without checking the back seat.

Dr. Grover recommends keeping an important item like a phone or purse next to your child in the back seat, so you never forget to check.

It’s also possible for a child to climb into an unlocked vehicle and get trapped inside.

“If you have a swimming pool and a car in your garage, those are the two places you must immediately check if you are unable to find your child,” Dr. Grover said. “It takes minutes for these tragedies to happen, and they are preventable.”

Dr. Grover added if you see a child alone inside a car, don’t hesitate to call 911.

Taking action as a bystander could save a life.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

Latest Daily Health Stories