Kids left in cars: How to prevent a horrible death

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Summer is here and boy it is getting hot. I need to talk about a very serious and disturbing issue now that the hot weather has arrived.

NEVER EVER EVER leave your child or your pet in a car for even one second. If you see a child or pet unattended in a car, call 911 immediately.

photoLast year there were 32 deaths of children who were left in a car. We have already had 21 kids die in cars due to heat stroke this year!! Heat stroke can happen when it is only 70 degrees outside. When it is 70 degrees outside, it can be 125 degrees in a car.  Temperatures in a car increase by 20 degrees every 10 minutes.

A child’s body temperature rises 5 times faster than an adult’s.  Leaving the windows cracked does NOT slow the heating process of a child’s small body in a car.

Most of the heat stroke deaths occurred in children less than 1 year of age when the child was “forgotten” by the care giver.  Children tend to fall asleep in a moving car;  a stressed or busy person or a person who is not in the routine of having the child might forget the child is in the back seat. To help you remember that your child is in the car seat,  keep a stuffed animal in the car seat,  when the child is placed in the car seat; you place the stuffed animal in the front seat. OR place your purse or briefcase in the back seat with the child. This should help make sure your child is not forgotten in their car seats.

Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature exceeds 104 degrees and your body’s ability to regulate its own temperature gets overwhelmed so your body temperature goes up and up.  Eventually the heart cannot pump blood efficiently;    the child loses consciousness then eventually death will occur if body temperatures get to 106 degrees. And this can happen in just minutes.  

Do not leave your child in the car for even one second.  But you can leave the stuffed animal!!

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