Transcript - Child Heatstroke

Tragically, we have heard of too many children dying from being left in cars. This is a 100% avoidable problem. Protect your child by staying ALERT.

A: never leave your child ALONE in a car

L: always LOCK your car

E: have an EXIT strategy

R: create REMINDERS and

T: TAKE ACTION

The first step in staying ALERT is to never leave your child ALONE in a car. Period. It doesn’t matter if the windows are left partially open or the air conditioner is on. This is a zero tolerance rule. It may sound like common sense, but sadly roughly 38 children die every year from heat stroke as a result of being left unattended in vehicles. Like an ant under a magnifying glass, the convection of the windshield raises the interior temperature to burning. In 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can rise over 20 degrees. Even if it’s a cool 60 degrees outside, the inside of your car can easily reach 110 degrees.

When you factor in that a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body, their internal temperature can reach 104 degrees. Cathy Hogan is the Coordinator of Injury prevention at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, MO. She stresses the importance of locking your doors, even in your own driveway.

“So, so make sure that uh, that the car is locked regardless of where it is and its not necessarily even going to be your kids. What if, what if it’s the neighbors kid or what if it’s just some little kid um that gets tired and there’s a car and they crawl up into the back seat. It , it, it just happens.”

The next step in staying ALERT is to have an EXIT strategy. Make a routine of looking in the back seat before you lock your doors, even when you know the child is not there. Parents would never intentionally put their child in harm’s way. But unfortunately, sometimes parents are so busy, they simply forget about their child in the back seat.

“We as a society are so hurried and so busy. We don't, we don't take a lot of time to do anything. We're, We're, we do something and we're on to the next task but especially if they're, if they're uh their path has been interrupted and they have an extra piece to do. Say they don't usually take the child to the daycare, it's usually the mom that takes the child but maybe the moms sick or maybe the mom has a, has another appointment and it, so you're off the beaten path and they, they just truly forget the child. It's not an intentional act. It's just that in our, in our hurried world I think it can happen.”

Let’s move on to R, or create REMINDERS. Try leaving your briefcase, purse, or bag next to your child’s car seat. It may seem simple, but can be helpful on a chaotic day.

“I, I really, really, really like the idea of a putting your important piece next to that child. You don't...mom's don't go into the building without their purse. So, so put something with the child that you that you know that you're going to...not going into the office without. Whether it be your laptop, whether it be whatever right next to the seat, or on the floor by the child.”

Lastly, TAKE ACTION! If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations.

“Well if you see a child locked in the car uh and uh um regardless of who it is I would, I would pick up a phone and call 911. First of all I'd see if I could, see if I could open the car um and then or if the kids old enough get them to open the car and they might not because they might have been told don't open the door ya know but um but and if you have to deal with an angry parent call the police. Uh the police, the fire department those, those are your friends in those situations and we've seen it here in the summer time happen over and over and over.”

Child Heatstroke is a tragic and unfortunate accident that occurs far too often. However, if we stay alert, we can help eliminate the tragic number of deaths that occur from children being left alone in a car. Prevent children from accidentally entering your car and being locked inside by always locking your car doors and trunks. And keep your keys and key fobs out of the reach of children.

I'm Alexis Phillips for Legal News Network -- your source for safety information.

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