New Page 1
1996 through 2000, more than 120 children most of them three and younger –
died from heat stroke after being trapped in a vehicle’s passenger
compartment. Research conducted by General Motors revealed that these children
were left behind in a closed, parked car by parents or caregivers, or that they
gained access to the car on their own and could not get out.
This is a
serious public health issue, and one that is entirely preventable. Parents may
mistakenly think that they can safely leave a child in a vehicle for a
“quick” errand. Unfortunately, a delay of just a few minutes can lead to
tragedy. Heat is much more dangerous to children than it is to adults. When left
in a hot vehicle, a young child’s core body temperature may increase three to
five times faster than that of an adult. This could cause permanent
injury or even death.
study showed that even on a 73-degree day, a dark sedan reached 100 degrees
after 15 minutes and 110 degrees at 30 minutes, while it took a white mini-van
35 minus to reach 100 degrees.
and care givers should follow these safety precautions: minutes.
IDS SAFE AROUND CARS IN WARM WEATHER.
Teach children not to play in, on or around cars.
never leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle, even with a window slightly
open. This applies to pets as well. On a typically sunny, summer day, the
temperature inside a vehicle can reach potentially deadly levels within minutes.
Always lock car doors and trunks – even at home – and keep keys out of
children’s reach. Kids have climbed into cars to hide or explore, and parents
don’t always know to check their vehicles
Watch children closely around cars, particularly when loading or unloading.
Check to ensure that all children leave the vehicle when you reach your
destination. Don’t overlook sleeping infants.
For parents concerned they might forget they are caring a child in the car seat
behind them, leave a stuffed animal in the car seat. Then remove the toy and
pace it in the front seat every time a child is riding in the car. It can serve
as a reminder that “precious cargo” is being carried.
a spare key to your car with you in case you accidentally lock your keys in the
car (with your child inside)
Secure children correctly on every ride.
See if you can have a trap resistant trunk kit installed by your car dealer.
When restraining children in a car that has been parked in the heat, checks to
make sure seating surfaces and equipment (car seat and seat belt buckles)
aren’t overly hot.
06/16/03 on Kidsgrowth