Heat Stroke

On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.


Fatal Distraction Pulitzer Prize winning article by Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post

How We Can Protect Children From Dying in Hot Cars Editorial published on Time.com

An epidemic of children dying in hot cars: a tragedy that can be prevented (Dr. David Diamond)
Child Stories

Far too many children have been inadvertently left in vehicles or have gotten into a vehicle on their own. Vehicular heat stroke tragedies change the lives of parents, families, and communities forever. The stories at the links below are about children whose lives were lost, and near misses, after becoming trapped inside of a hot vehicle.

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Near Misses
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Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

Heat Stroke Fact Sheet

English [PDF]

Below is a summary of the information KidsAndCars.org has been gathering for over a decade.

  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2017: 12
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2016: 39
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2015: 25 
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2014:  32
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2013:  44
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2012:  35
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2011: 33
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2010:  49
  • Child vehicular heat stroke deaths 1990- 2016: 793
  • Average #of deaths per year since 1998: 37 (one every 9 days)
  • Highest # of fatalities for a one-year time period – 2010: 49
Safety Tips

Learn simple tips on how to keep your children safe in and around vehicles.

Safety Tips

Heat Stroke Safety Tips

English [PDF]

Charts, Statistics, Graphics

Below are KidsAndCars.org charts and graphs which can be downloaded for free and are excellent education materials. We encourage you to share, print, copy, distribute, or enlarge them; but we ask that no changes be made.

Click on an image below to open a full PDF file of the chart.. Please note, the PDF files are large and may take some time to open in your browser.

HS_factsheetRGB  US Child Fatalities by Type  Non- Fatal Child Incidents by Type  Look Before You Lock  VEHICLE-REMINDERS-GRAPHIC-2016  HEATSTROKE_MAP_2016_EN_FULL Heat Stroke Calendar  Airbag vs Heatstroke 2016     Every-year always-check Daddy-thinks Even-a-loving-parent Good Samaritan State Laws

 Look Before You Lock HS_factsheetSPANISH_RGB.compressed HEATSTROKE_MAP_2016_EN_FULL Airbag_vs_Heatstroke_2017-Spanish

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and Videos

Heighten awareness about the dangers children face in and around motor vehicles with KidsAndCars.org’s Public Service Announcements. Please encourage TV stations, hospital, doctor offices, public health offices, parenting classes, etc., to share this life-saving information.


Heat Stroke Studies

Below are studies specific to vehicular heat stroke injuries and deaths. There have been several studies published about vehicular heat stroke but there is still much to be learned.


KidsAndCars.org believes the solution to these preventable tragedies is a combination of education and technology. KidsAndCars.org would like all vehicles to come equipped with a system that would alert a driver if a child has been left in the vehicle.