You might think: "Nonsense, this terrible thing will never happen to me or my family." We hope so, we sincerely do. But read this reminder anyway just to be on the safe side.
Why are cars so dangerous in summer?
A car left under the sun is like an oven: the temperature inside rises above 100 degrees in a few minutes causing the greenhouse effect. The temperature keeps climbing even if the vehicle's windows are open or cracked, so it almost doesn't help to slow the process of heating. Moreover, about 80% of the temperature increase happens in the first 10-15 minutes. Considering that a child's body warms up and overheats 3 times as fast as that of an adult, we do understand the danger - overheating causes heatstroke accompanied by disorientation, sluggishness, loss of consciousness, or even death.
- In the US, 37 children die of vehicular heatstroke every year (a little boy or girl every 9 days, can you imagine this?)
- Since 2010, 233 babies died of vehicular heatstroke.
- Leaving a child alone in a vehicle is illegal only in 19 states.
- Statistically, people are more likely to help a dog abandoned in a car than to save a child from vehicular heatstroke.
- Since 1990, over 700 children died in heated cars. More than 50% of them were at the age of a year or even younger.
- In 2016, there still were cases of vehicular heatstroke deaths among children: a CEO from Iowa left her 8-month girl in a car and hurried off to meetings; a Texas woman working all day in a shopping center found her 5-month boy she thought she'd dropped at daycare was dead. These people were caring and loving parents but their lack of attentiveness led to terrible consequences.
Apparently, some contributing factors affect the attentiveness of an adult. Let's be honest: lack of rest and sleep, stress, hormone changes, which happen to every parent on Earth, make people crabby and forgetful. Due to this fact, adults don't always check and double-check the back seat or the rear-facing child seat of their car. In fact, experts express some serious doubts on rear-facing seats in relation to the safety of children in parked vehicles. Such seats look the same whether a child is placed in it or not. Besides, babies often sleep in their safety seats, becoming quiet and inconspicuous little angels. Add exhausted adults into the picture, and you will see how very worrying the situation with the risk of leaving a child inside a vehicle is!
How to avoid danger: safety tips
Ever. No amount of time is safe for a baby to spend in your car alone. Not even five minutes - this time period is already dangerous for an immature body.
2. Think you checked the back seat? Check again.
Create your own reminder which will help you to do it every time. Put one of your "basic goods" like a wallet or a cell-phone in the back seat so you will have to open the back door to take it every time you leave the car. Or put something big and bright (for example, a stuffed animal) on the front seat when the baby is in the car, so you will remember about the child every time you look at the stuffed animal.
3. Keep your car locked when children are alone near it.
But the best thing you can do is never leave your child unattended around the vehicle.
4. Get involved.
If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911 and make sure the baby isn't sick; otherwise, get the child out as quickly as possible.
Remember: even the best parents and wisest adults make mistakes. It's in our hands not to allow them to be fatal.