Every year, around summertime, many heartbreaking deaths occur when children are unintentionally left alone in hot cars. According to statistics from the non-profit safety group Kids and Cars, since 1990, more than 600 children in the United States have died that way.
Cases like these normally take place when children are left unattended in a hot car—oftentimes, the driver forgets that the child is inside, or a child gets into an unlocked car without anyone noticing. If you can’t open the car by yourself, a reliable automotive locksmith service can really help out. But unless it is caught on time a situation like that can turn out detrimental in just a matter of minutes.
- Don’t Leave the Child Behind
Some parents habitually leave their babies strapped inside a car seat as they pull-over for a quick stop. That practice is a no-no. It’s never right to leave anyone (kids or pets) inside a car, even if the window is open.
Your car is like a greenhouse and temperatures can get extremely hot in a short period of time. There’s no “safe period” to leave a child in a hot car. Children are more susceptible to heat than adults, because their bodies make more heat in relation to their size, and their system is not mature enough to cool through sweating as fast as that of adults.
- Educate Yourself
Parents tend to leave kids in the vehicle because of lack of knowledge—they are not aware of the dangers of leaving a child in hot car for only a few minutes. On a day that’s just 72 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside the car can accelerate by up 40 degrees within one hour, and 70% of this can take place in less than 30 minutes.
This can result in heat strove as the body passes 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It then puts pressure on the brain as its temperature gets out of control, which can lead to symptoms such as disorientation, dizziness, loss of consciousness, agitation, sluggishness, confusion, seizure, and/or death.
Be of Assistance
- Are you a Bystander?
If you are a bystander and see a child locked inside a vehicle, get involved— call 911 immediately! If the child is distressed due to heat, try to get him out as quickly as possible.
- Keep Focused
Unfortunately, some parents/adults forget that they’ve left a sleeping child on the back seat of the car while tending to business. Some would say that’s careless and negligent, but this can happen to anyone. If a child has fallen asleep on the back seat, there’s not always a visual sign to remind you that he or she is still there.
The advice is to give yourself reminders. Put a sticker on the dashboard or keep reminding yourself that there is a child in the back. Another option is to put the diaper bag on the seat next to you.
- Don’t Let Kids Toy With Your Car
Don’t allow kids to go in and out of your vehicle. Make sure that the doors and trunk are properly locked when the car is not in use, and keep the keys where they’re not reachable. A car is not a playing ground —too often do children get suffocated in the trunk or the back of a vehicle.
- Be a good Parent
If you’ve asked someone to pick up your child, call and check to see if everything is ok. If your children take the bus, ensure that the driver follows safety protocols, such as making sure that no child is left onboard at the end of the route.