The first day of summer is this Saturday, but we’ve already seen triple-digit heat here in the Morongo Basin, and more is on the way. Managing editor Tami Roleff urges residents to be extra careful—especially with children—in the summer heat.
Those at the greatest risk of heat-related illnesses are seniors and children. Health Department Public Information Officer Henry Varela stresses that leaving a child in a hot car, even for a short time, can be dangerous and can kill them. “Children’s body temperatures rise at three to five times that of an adult. Therefore, when it comes to children, they’re probably more at risk than anybody else.” According to Varela, in more than half of the cases where children have died from heat stroke in the U.S. in the past 15 years, the caregiver reported “forgetting” the child was even in the vehicle. “That’s why it’s always important for parents to be vigilant, no only when they’re driving in the car with their child and going somewhere, but also when you’re at home. Make sure your doors are locked so that your children can’t get in.” Varela adds that in the U.S., heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related deaths in vehicles for children under age 14.