Live Healthy: DHEC’s Health & Environment Blog

Live Healthy: DHEC’s Health & Environment Blog

Hot Cars Kill: Remember Not to Leave Your Loved Ones Behind

July 01, 2019
Heatstroke Infographics

July is always one of the hottest months of the year.  Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable.  According to, there have been 13 child vehicular heatstroke deaths so far this year, with an average of 38 deaths each year.

Avoid heat strokes by keeping these precautions in mind:

  • In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees higher.
  • Cracking a window and/or air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is turned off.
  • A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s does.
  • When left in a hot car, a child’s major organs begin to shut down when his temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit and can die when temperature reach 107 degrees.
  • Because of global warming, expect more days to be hotter.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets and leave the water in a shady area.

If you see a child or pet alone in a hot vehicle, make sure the child or pet is responsive and attempt to locate the parents.  If not, call 911 immediately.  If the child or pet appears to be in distress, attempt to enter the car to assist – even if that means breaking a window.  South Carolina has a “Good Samaritan” law that protects people from lawsuits for getting involved to help a person in an emergency.

Learn more about heat-related illnesses at


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