Saturday, July 7, 2007

Children and Hot Cars Don't Mix!

It is mid-summer, and I think, as the weather continues to be extremely hot in many areas, we all need to review what we already know: Never leave a baby or a child, or an animal for that matter, in a hot car! Never!
It is easy for a parent or caregiver to be tempted to leave a child in locked the car for a little while while they run into the store. or leave the child strapped in the car seat so they won't have to supervise her as they put groceries away in the house. But before you convince yourself that nothing could go wrong, read these stories.
an 18-year-old was charged with child endangerment causing death, after he unlocked 2-year-old Steven Saavedra's mother's car and allowed the child to climb in to play, and then forgot about the child and walked home. Five hours later, the toddler was found dead, locked in the car.
A florida woman left her 15-month-old step-grandson in a hot car while she went into a friend's house. The woman fell asleep inside the house, forgetting about the toddler in her care. When she woke up and checked on him, he was dead.
In Arizona, a woman and her mother went into a mortgage company to fill out some papers, leaving the mother's nine-month-old daughter inside the car. When they realized they had forgotten the baby, they rushed to get her from the car, which was 126 degrees inside. The baby in this story lived... and police and paramedics said the child was very lucky. For infants, being left in extreme temperatures for even a few minutes can cause death. This baby was left in the car for over an hour.
Also in Arizona, a father took his 3-month-old daughter with him to run errands. When he returned home, he went inside and forgot that the child was still in the car. Locked in the car for over two hours, the baby died.
A 3-year-old was locked in a hot car while his mother was in a nearby business. He was honking the car's horn, getting the attention of passerbyers, who noticed that the little boy was sweating and having trouble breathing. They urged the little boy to unlock the car door, but he was unable to figure out how to do it, so one passerbyer broke the window and rescued him. The little boy's mother said she had only been gone fifteen minutes.
Lesson learned? Don't leave children in hot cars!
The Los Angeles fire Department offers some tips for keeping children in your care, as well as other children, safe. Some tips are simple... get into the habit of checking the back seat every time you get out of the car, to make sure no children have been left inside the car. You may think you'll never forget the child, but it is too easy for a parent to become distracted and forget! And even a few minutes may be too long.
Remember that the inside of a car canget very, very, very hot, very quickly. Even if it feels cool outside, the temperature inside the car can double. Parking in the shade, leaving windows cracked, or having tinted windows don't always help keep the car cool.
When you're not in your car, leave it locked so that children cannot get inside it to play. A 22-month-old died after she somehow climbed into her mother's parked car and locked herself in. Teach your kids that they should never play in cars, especially if adults are not around to supervise!
If you see a child locked in a car, call 9-1-1 immediately! every minute counts!
And don't try to treat a child yourself by putting him in cold or cool water... that can cause even more problems. Bring the child into a cool room or a shady area until the paramedics arrive. Only trained professionals should try to treat heatstroke!
Warn others you know about the dangers of leaving children locked in cars! After all, most times when children are left in hot cars, their caregivers aren't being cruel... they just don't know that its dangerous, or they think it is something that won't happen to them.
Summer is a great time to have fun with children! Just remember to keep them cool and safe this summer!
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1 comment:

Caroline in Rome said...

I can't understand how any parent could be so stupid or neglectful as to leave a child in a car. I mean, how does one "forget" that his or her child is still in the car? I am just flabbergasted at these stories. I would not dream of leaving the Bambina unattended in a car for any period, no matter what the weather was like outside.

By the way, "effect" should be "affect" in the title of your blog. ;-) Great blog, by the way!