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Published June 12, 2013, 06:05 PM

Child heat strokes can happen easily in cars

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Every summer, heartbreaking and preventable deaths happen when children are left in hot cars.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Every summer, heartbreaking and preventable deaths happen when children are left in hot cars.

So far this year 11 children have died after being left in a car nationwide.

It's never a good idea to leave any child in a car for any amount of time. Even on cooler days like today a car can heat up fast and it can be deadly.

Take a look at this chart. On a 75 degree day it takes just 10 minutes to reach 100 degrees inside a car. In 30 minutes it can reach 120.

Bobbi Paper-Schwantes, Injury Prevention/Sanford Health: “If it's 70 degrees outside and they are in the car for 10 minutes that's 90 degrees with no air movement, even that window cracked, so it takes very little time.”

Sanford Health Injury Prevention Coordinator Bobbi Paper- Schwantes says younger children are the most at risk for heat stroke. A child's body can heat up to 106 degrees in about 10 to 15 minutes and in just minutes they can die.

Paper-Schwantes: “A child's temperature heats up three to five times faster than an adult and once they get to the 104 temperature for internal, that starts to become dangerous and if a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, that's when it becomes lethal.

When are children most at risk of being forgotten in cars? When parents are out of their routine.

Paper-Schwantes: “Fifty-two percent of it is accidentally being left in the car, change of habit, you know normally mom takes the kid to child care and this time dads going to do it, or someone else thinks their taking the child out of the car.”

Some tips to avoid a tragedy: Leave a reminder on your cell phone or leave a purse or a bag in the back seat where a child will be.

Paper-Schwantes: “Minds get distracted we are doing 20 million things at one time and so you do lose sight of that sometimes.”

If you ever see a child unattended in a car, call 911. Pets are also at risk in hot cars. They too can suffer from heat stroke and die.

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