The Dangers of Leaving Children in a Hot Car

Heat-related deaths are the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 15.

You think you’ll be gone just a few minutes – but those few minutes could be deadly to your child.

“In a matter of minutes, your temperature in your car could reach 20 degrees higher than what it was when you started,” Doctor Hector Garcia said.

Dr. Garcia, a pediatrician, said all too often, he sees children permanently damaged or even killed from begin left in a hot vehicle.

Children’s bodies are more fragile than adults’. It only takes 107 degrees to kill a child.

“In a matter of five minutes, you could be in 107. Easy, easy, easy.”

The temperatures inside your car may be cool while it’s on, but once you turn it off, they can quickly rise to over 100 degrees.

Dr. Garcia says once a child’s body gets too hot, it starts mechanisms to try to cool it down. But eventually, the body can’t cool itself down and anymore and it will shut down.

“They’re in a car, they have no way to get out, the temperature keeps rising and your body keeps using its energy and it keeps using its water, so what’s going to happen next is that your brain is going to stop working.”

Dr. Garcia said that once the brain stops working, any damage done is irreversible, and often times, the child will die.

“Suddenly, you can’t have – you know, your heart doesn’t beat anymore. There’s no coming back from this.”

Dr. Garcia said all of this can be avoided by just paying attention to the important things, or giving yourself an item to make sure to remember to check the backseat.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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