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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


Tragedy can strike quickly for kids left alone in cars


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From 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.

  A recent 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.

Parents 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.

•Carry 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.


posted 06/16/03 on Kidsgrowth

 

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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