Summer may be over, but temperatures continue to rise. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) is reminding the public about the dangers of leaving children unattended in a car.
Around the country, and especially in South Florida’s sweltering heat, getting left or trapped in a hot car can be just as dangerous as getting in a motor vehicle accident. In most cases, children get hurt when they are “forgotten” in a hot car, a child is playing in an unattended vehicle, gets stuck in the trunk, or when an adult unintentionally leaves a child in a car.
On a mild day the temperature in a car can surpass 100 degrees. On a typical day the temperature inside a car, even if the windows are rolled down a little, can quickly rise above 120 degrees.
At these temperatures, kids are at risk for heat stroke, which can lead to a high fever, dehydration, seizures, stroke and death. To protect your children yearlong, be mindful of the following:
- DO NOT leave your children in a car. Cars can heat up quickly, especially on a hot sunny day.
- Always lock your car and store the keys in a location where your kids cannot get to them.
- Talk to your kids about playing in the car by themselves without adult supervision.
- Install a trunk release mechanism, so kids cannot get trapped in the trunk.
- Get your children out of the car first when you get home, and then take anything else like groceries or your dry cleaning out of the vehicle.
- When leaving your car, check to make sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children that have fallen asleep in the car.
A way to never forget a child in the car is the stuffed animal method. Simply get a stuffed animal and place it in the child’s empty car seat. When the child is placed in the seat the stuffed animal is placed in a visible location, like the front seat. When the child is taken out of the car, place the animal back in the car seat. This visual aid helps remind the driver that there is a child in the backseat. This method comes in handy when the driver, who normally does not transport the child, goes into “autopilot” mode and drives directly to work.