SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – In hot and humid conditions, body heat can build to dangerous levels. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States.

Heat can be very taxing on the body, and heat-related illnesses can happen with even a short period of exposure.

Everyone is vulnerable to heat, but some more so than others, including young children and infants.

Heatstroke can occur if the core body temperature rises to 104 degrees or higher. Once the body core temperature is up to 107, that is considered lethal. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s.


It’s Heat Safety Week. Each day Storm Team 3 is covering a different topic to help you prepare for the hotter months of the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

When it comes to children, it’s not just about everyday exposure to heat and humidity. It’s also about pediatric vehicular heatstroke.

According to the National Weather Service, on average, one child dies from heatstroke nearly every 10 days in the U.S. from being left in a car or crawling into an unlocked vehicle.


A reported 29 children died in hot cars in 2022. Deaths are often reported as early as April and tragedies continue into December in southern states. So it doesn’t have to be “hot” outside for tragedy to strike.

According to, more than 1,000 children have died in hot vehicles since 1990.

Many politicians are now pushing for action.

A law passed in 2021 requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to require new vehicles to have a system that alerts drivers to check their backseats for children when the car is turned off. That rule must be finalized by November.

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Some, however, say this isn’t enough.

Many are pushing for technology to be used instead that can detect the presence of a child left in a rear-facing car seat and alert the driver.

So far, 21 automakers, including Ford and General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen, have made commitments to implement rear seat reminder systems by the 2025 model year.

In previous articles, Storm Team 3 has covered the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. We’ve also covered what to do if you are suffering from a heat illness.

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But here are some ways to teach your kids to prevent heat illness.

  1. Teach kids to always drink plenty of liquids before and during any activity in hot, sunny weather – or warm weather.
  2. Remind kids to look for shaded areas and rest often while outside.
  3. Wear sunscreen and hats to avoid getting a sunburn.
  4. Don’t let kids do intense activities outdoors during the hottest hours of the day.
  5. Teach kids to come indoors right away if they feel overheated.
  6. Do NOT leave kids alone in a parked car.