Leaving Kids in Hot Cars is Risky Business

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Updated: 7/10/2014 5:35 pm
While one may consider leaving a child alone in the car, even for just a minute, the risk is not worth the consequences this time of year. With scorching summer temperatures, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (M.D.O.T.) wants you to know the risks associated with leaving kids in hot cars before you take the chance.

Cracking a window may seem like a solution to the problem, but this does little to keep the car cool. In as little as 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit, making a seemingly quick run into the store incredibly dangerous. A heatstroke can occur when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside, hardly comparing to the high summer temperatures in Mississippi. Because a child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s, M.D.O.T. wants to remind motorists about the dangers of leaving children alone in hot cars.

Suffocating summer temperatures can lead to the heat-related death of a child left unattended in a car, making this risk not worth the cost. A car can heat up to well above 110 degrees with temperatures in the 60s outside, causing a severe threat to children left alone inside. A child’s temperature rising to 107 degrees can be fatal. M.D.O.T. urges those with children to never leave them alone in the car, especially during summer months.

Prevention tips to keep kids safe from hot cars include:

•Don’t let your kids play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.
•Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.
•Keep a large teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it’s empty. Move the teddy bear to the front seat when you place the child in the seat as a visual reminder.

With blistering summer temperatures, remember to always look before you lock, because no child should die in a hot car.

To learn more about protecting children from hot cars visit www.safercar.gov/parents/home.htm.

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