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July-August 2018

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The Tragedy of Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke

Every year, dozens of children die from heatstroke inside a vehicle in the United States. At an average of 37 deaths per year, this is more than double the average number of the 16 hurricane deaths in the United States in the past decade, making it one of the deadliest weather-related causes of death. Since 1998, at least 742 children have died from pediatric vehicular heatstroke (PVH) in the United States as the result of either being accidently forgotten in a vehicle, having gotten into a vehicle on their own, or having been knowingly left inside a vehicle by a parent or other caregiver. And sadly, nearly three-quarters (73%) of the deaths are in children ages two or younger.


JAN NULL is a certified consulting meteorologist and owner of Golden Gate Weather Services. He has spent two decades measuring vehicle temperatures; amassing statistics on when, where, and how PVH occurs; working with a myriad of safety organizations; and testifying in court about the circumstances surrounding these tragedies.

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