Modeling Heat Stroke in Children in Hot Vehicles

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 9:15 AM
Room C213 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Andrew Grundstein, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

On average, 38 children per year die from heat-related causes after being left unattended in motor vehicles. A number of intervention strategies may be used to reduce the frequency of these very preventable deaths, including legislation where caregivers are prohibited from leaving children unattended in vehicles and informational campaigns that are designed to educate the public about the dangers of vehicle-related hyperthermia. A key component of many educational messages is information on how quickly a vehicle can reach dangerously high temperatures. This research will provide complementary data that links the vehicle cabin temperature more directly with health impacts. Here, we use a modified version of a human heat balance model, MENEX, to examine the length of time for an infant to reach a core body temperature (40oC) associated with heat stroke. Several different scenarios are modeled using different interior vehicle temperatures and solar radiation exposures.