Every summer season, heatstroke cases are expected that unfortunately lead to injuries and deaths. Sadly this year, with just half of 2016 gone, the number of deaths, particularly those of children left in hot cars, has almost equaled the total number of last year's count.
Founder and President of KidsAndCars.org Janette Fennell is warning parents of vehicular heatstroke and the importance of vigilance to prevent cases of unintentionally leaving children in hot cars. Fox news reports that the said nonprofit organization has done efforts to raise awareness of the danger of vehicular heatstroke and is dismayed by the figures so far for this year.
Tracking children deaths caused by leaving them in a hot car, the organization has associated the rise of figures in the 1990s to passed laws that required children to sit in the back seat. Since 1998, there had been an annual average of 38 deaths of kids left in hot cars (via Fox News).
Fennell had some advice for parents so that they won't forget their children at the car on a hot day. They should always check the back door before alighting their car, leave a personal belonging in the back seat, make visual reminders such as putting a stuff toy as a marker, and tell the daycare to call if their child is absent.
As per CNN, most parents forget their children on a hot car not because they are negligent or abusive, but because the habit memory of their brain supersedes their prospective memory. The prospective memory covers the plan to leave the child in the daycare while habit memory automates a parent's action to leave the car alone from one place to another.
This happens when a plan goes out of hand and the parent has to make some changes in the usual routine that when the time comes he/she parks the car, he/she totally forgets that a child is still there inside. The awareness that a child is in the car is also lessened when the parent is stressed, sleep-deprived or distracted.
According to Web MD, parents should know that it's never okay to leave a child at a hot car even if it's just for a short time. Just a few minutes in the car could already be fatal to a small child.
The temperature in a car may increase by 30 to 40 degrees in an hour. When body temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the body can experience dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, seizure, loss of consciousness, and/or death.
Resource: Parent Herald