The recent death of Cooper Harris, a 22-month-old child left in a hot car in Georgia, has drawn attention to the risks of leaving children unattended in vehicles. USA TODAY Network compiled 10 facts about child deaths in cars caused by heat stroke.
1. An average of 38 children have died in hot cars each year in the USA since 1998.
2. Since 1998, 619 children have died in vehicles from heat stroke in the USA.
3. More than 70% of heat stroke deaths occur in children younger than age 2.
4. More than half of heat stroke deaths occur because a caregiver forgot the child in the car.
5. Roughly 30% of heat stroke deaths occur because the child got in the car without a caregiver knowing and couldn't get out.
6. Nearly 20% of deaths occur because a caregiver intentionally left the child in the car.
7. Cars heat up quickly. A vehicle can heat up 20 degrees in 10 minutes.
8. Cracking the windows or not parking in direct sunlight does not make a car significantly cooler. Heat stroke deaths have occurred even when the vehicle was parked in shade.
9. A car can reach 110 degrees when temperatures are only in the 60s. Heat stroke can take place when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees.
10. The body temperatures of children can increase three to five times faster than adults. Heat stroke begins when the body passes 104 degrees. Reaching an internal temperature of 107 degrees can be deadly.