Gateway Gazette

AHS Weekly Wellness News: Children in Hot Cars

Never leave your children unattended in the heat 

It’s an act of convenience that can kill. Every summer, EMS and other first response agencies respond to calls, across the province, where children have been left inside vehicles while their parent, or caregiver, “quickly ran inside”.

According to experts, there is no safe amount of time to leave a child unattended in a vehicle in the heat. One study found that in 35ºC weather it took just twenty minutes for the interior temperature of a car to rise to 50ºC.

Unlike adults, children’s bodies aren’t adapted to cool them rapidly. As a result, they are more susceptible to heat-related illness and injuries, even death.

It takes only minutes for tragedy to strike but just seconds to prevent it.

  • Never leave a child alone in a vehicle, even for just a few minutes.
  • Always check the interior of the vehicle before you lock it to ensure you haven’t left your child behind.
  • Lock your vehicle when it’s not in use so children can’t get in without you knowing.
  • If you see a child left unattended in a vehicle, call 911 immediately and, if possible, get the child out as quickly as you can.

It may seem more convenient to not have to fuss with a car seat or seat belt for a quick stop but a hot car is no place for a child. Save a life, not time.

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