(CBS) — It seems so simple. Don’t leave a child, without an adult, in a car.
We hear about tragedies all the time. Stories of children who die from heat stroke after being left in a car, sometimes by accident. Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation are reminding everyone that, if you see a child in a car, call 911. The scorching 90-degree temperatures are gone for a while, but that doesn’t mean kids can be left in a car. You don’t need a lot of sunshine and scorching heat to put a child in danger.
Wes Bender, of Safe Kids Worldwide, showed us just how hot a car can get in a short amount of time. Using two thermometers, one inside and one outside, Wes explained, “As you can see, on a cloudy, relatively comfortable day, 82 degrees outside. Inside this car right now it’s 114 degrees”.
Is there a safe temperature outside? Is there a safe time limit? If you try to play that guessing game, you’re playing with fire.
Wes explains, “It’s never ok to leave a child alone in a vehicle. Small children, because of their size, their core temperature, their body temperature, can rise much more quickly than that of an adult.”
Sometimes parents just forget about the little one strapped in back. General Motor’s Julie Kleinert has a way to help you remember. She says, “One of the suggestions that we have is to make sure you leave an object that you need in the back seat near the child. When you go to get that object, like a purse, a briefcase, or a cellphone, you’ll be reminded that your child is in the back seat.”
Here’s something else you may not have considered. Kids love to play in cars in driveways, then they can’t get out. Lock the car so it won’t become a playground. In just minutes the interior of a car becomes an oven.
More than 30 children died in 2012 from heatstroke and, so far this year, 20 children have died. Don’t leave kids, or pets, in a car….Not even for a minute.