Learn the Facts about Child Heatstroke Deaths in Cars

Child Car Deaths Image State by State
Child Heatstroke Deaths in Vehicles, United States, 1998 – current¹



  • In Just 10 minutes, a car can heat up by 20 degrees and become deadly.²
  • Nearly 900 children died of heatstroke since 1998.²
  • A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, that child’s temperature can rise quickly — and they could die within minutes.²
  • Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees.²
  • A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.²
  • In 2020, 24 children died of vehicular heatstroke.²
  • In 2018 and 2019, we saw a record number of hot car deaths —  53 children died each year — the most in at least 20 years, according to NoHeatstroke.org
  • More than half of the deaths [“from vehicular heatstroke “] are children under 2 years of age.³
  • Children dying from heatstroke in cars, either because they were left or became trapped, has increased in recent years.⁴
  • The majority of hot car deaths — 53% — happen because someone forgets a child in a car.⁴
  • About 46% of the time when a child was forgotten, the caregiver meant to drop the child off at a daycare or preschool.⁴
  • Thursdays and Fridays — the end of the workweek — have had the highest deaths.⁴
  • Nearly 75% of children who are forgotten and die are under 2 years old.⁴
  • Vehicular heatstroke deaths don’t just happen when a child is forgotten. The second leading cause —  26% — of such deaths are children getting into unattended vehicles.⁴
  • The temperature inside a car can reach over 115 degrees when the outside temperature is just 70 degrees.⁴
  • More facts and charts can be found on  http://www.kidsandcars.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Heatstroke-calendar_EN.pdf
  • Child Hot Car Deaths by State since 1990⁶
  • On average, 39 children die in hot cars every year in the U.S.⁷
  • For more information visit www.KidsandCarSafety.org or contact us at email@KidsAndCars.org. 3On average, 39 children die in hot cars every year in the U.S.2018 & 2019 = worst 2 years in history for child hot car deaths with 54 &53 fatalities respectively.⁷


  1. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/motor-vehicle-safety-issues/hotcars/data-details/
  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/heatstroke
  3. https://www.noheatstroke.org/original/
  4. https://www.nhtsa.gov/child-safety/you-can-help-prevent-hot-car-deaths
  5. http://www.kidsandcars.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Heatstroke-calendar_EN.pdf
  6. http://www.kidsandcars.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/heatstroke_map.pdf
  7. http://www.kidsandcars.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Child-Hot-Car-Deaths-Data-Analysis.pdf