This is something I rant about in classes sometimes. Okay, maybe more frequently in the summer months.
In tonight’s news I saw this story and I’m not sure if I’m really really angry or really really sad. Maybe I’m a mix of both.
4 children between the ages of 9 months and 9 years old were left in a car, in a parking lot, with the windows rolled up, for up to 15 minutes. Thank goodness someone saw them and called 911.
So often people passing by are quick to call 911 or the local police department when they see a dog left in a car in the summer. Not as often do people call when they see a person or child sitting in a car in the warmer, or really hot, summer temperatures. Thank goodness someone saw these kids and called.
Temperatures rise quickly in a vehicle when it’s warm outside. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle is parked in the sun or in the shade. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur quickly. I’ve blogged about heat emergencies here and here. The most important thing to know about heat emergencies is how to prevent them. Keeping kids out of hot parked vehicles is critical.
According to a study published in the July 2005 issue of the journal Pediatrics, showed that a car’s interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees F within an hour, regardless of ambient temperature. Eighty percent of the temperature rise occurred within the first half-hour. (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/car_heat.html).
Kids don’t often know that they can’t sit in a hot car and wait for their grown up or parent. It’s our job as grown ups to know that kids (or pets, or older relatives, or friends or ANYONE) should not be left in hot cars. I am feeling so thankful that someone saw these kids and called for help. This is a tragedy that could have been even worse if someone had not taken action. Huge kudos and thanks to the person who called for help! NEVER leave a person, pet, or living creature in a vehicle in hot weather. If you don’t want to bring your kids or pet into the store, then don’t bring them with you.