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Hot Cars Can Kill

21 Children Already Dead in 2013

Homewood, AL:  Police say a one year old girl found inside a locked car in SoHo is dead. 

The child was found unresponsive in a white Lexus SUV.  The child was rushed to Children's Hospital of Alabama where she was pronounced dead. 

A witness says the mother usually takes the child to daycare but instead stopped by to visit her husband.  It's reported that the toddler was in the car from 10:30am until 1:30pm.  The child was given CPR until paramedics arrived.  The child's temperature was around 105 degrees.

On average, 37 children die from heatstroke each year.  Typically, 52% of these deaths are due to a caregiver forgetting a child in a car.

It's something that many of us (including myself) can't truly understand.  How does it happen?  How can it be prevented? 

And yet, I still see reports of it happening again and again.  And it's not just children.  Pet owners do it too. 

I recently had a friend post on facebook how she saw a dog left in a hot car.  She waited by the car until the owner returned... not only to make sure the pet was okay but also to confront the pet owner.  Well, when the owner showed up, he became annoyed.  My friend says the man told her that he was only in the store for a few minutes.

Well, a few minutes can turn into much longer.  And sometimes a few minutes is all that it takes.

Here is the science behind it.  The heating dynamics of a car is much different than other forms of transportation.  The windows of a car act as a catalyst for rapid temperature increases inside the vehicle.

The windows let in a lot of sunshine.  When the sunshine is absorbed, it becomes trapped inside the car.  The temperature inside the car can become twice that of the temperature outside.

Next, it's the color of the car's interior that is another determining factor.  Cars with dark interior, such as black leather, heat up the quickest.

Another scary fact is that children heat up to three to four times faster than adults.  The reason why is that children have not yet developed the ability to cool themselves off.

A car's temperature can increase by 19 degrees in just 10 minutes.  In one to two hours, the temperature inside a car can increase between 45 and 50 degrees.

In the worst case scenario, if a small child is on the sunny side of the car, death can occur in 15 minutes or less.

So what can you do to prevent this from happening?

If you have children or pets, double check your backseat before you leave.

How to help keep children safe:

1. If you see a child unattended in a vehicle, immediately call 911.

2. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

3. If you are missing a child, first check the pool and your vehicle.

4. Give yourself a visual reminder that your child is the backseat. Put the child's teddy bear on the front seat, put your cell phone, purse or briefcase in the backseat; that way you are forced to remember.

 

 

 

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