Everyone knows a closed car gets hot in the summer – very hot. How quickly and how hot? Tuscaloosa firefighters believe it is hot enough to bake cookies.

To draw attention to the serious threat of heatstroke among children and to promote conversation about prevention, the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service will be baking “car cookies” at The Shops of Lake Tuscaloosa located at 4851 Rice Mine Rd NE beginning at 1:00 on Wednesday, July 2. Set up will be on the side of the parking lot near Spirits.

The purpose of the demonstration is reducing heatstroke deaths by reminding parents and caregivers about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars.

Fire Chief Alan Martin said,

As outside temperatures rise, the risks of children dying from being left alone inside a hot vehicle also rises. One child dies from heatstroke nearly every 10 days from being left in a hot vehicle, but what is most tragic is that the majority of these deaths could have been prevented.

Children’s body temperatures can rise up to five times faster than that of an adult, and heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.

Chief Martin continued,

More than half of all vehicle-related heatstroke deaths in children are caused by a child being left in the car. Almost 30% are from a child getting into a hot car on their own.

The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service urge all parents and caregivers to do these three things:

  1. NEVER leave a child in a vehicle unattended.
  2. Make it a habit to look in the backseat EVERY time you exit the car.
  3. ALWAYS lock the car and put the keys out of reach.
  4. If you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 right away.

Know warning signs of heatstroke that include red, hot, and moist or dry skin; no sweating; a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse; nausea; confusion; or acting strangely. If a child exhibits any of these signs, call 911 immediately. Cool the child rapidly by spraying them with cool water or with a garden hose, NEVER an ice bath.