Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Twenty three children have died this year across the United States as the result of being left unattended in motor vehicles. This alarming number of deaths has resulted in the US Health and Human Services releasing a cautionary warning.
Don't Lock Me In
Some parents feel it is better to lock the doors with the windows rolled up as opposed to leaving windows half down because of fear of abduction.
Neither situation is good parenting.
With the summer heat wave breaking all kinds of records, locked cars are too hot for human beings, especially children whose body temperatures rises three to five times faster than adults bodies.
Closed cars can become hot enough to kill, even if a child is left in a closed car even a short time. It may be tempting to, for instance, let the baby sleep while you run into the store. However, at Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, Linda Smith warns,
“Even on a relatively mild day, temperatures rise quickly in a closed vehicle. The windows act like a greenhouse, trapping the heat inside, and within 10 minutes can reach life-threatening temperatures.”
The Centers for Disease Control report that very high body temperatures can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, as well as heat stroke and death.
Smith says closed cars can be deadly hot in 10 minutes even if the outside temperature is only 80 degrees. And she says children under 4 are most at risk.
Some parents have been known to forget they have children with them as they run errands. The Administration for Children and Families reminds people, including day care providers, to be sure they have all the kids out of the vehicle. Their slogan: Look Before You Lock.
Parents and day care providers should make stops without children or take them inside while running errands.
posted August 18, 2012 7:20 am edt