Welcome back to the Hastings & Hastings blog! We are spending the month of June touching on a number of important summer safety concerns. For most residents of the Valley of the Sun, summer is all about beating the heat by having fun. June through August, Phoenix pools, and water parks are packed full of happy people having a blast while escaping the heat. This is why we touched on pool safety in our last blog. Drowning prevention is something everyone should keep in mind. Each year, children and adults alike pass away as a result of drowning here in Phoenix. These deaths are tragic and almost always preventable. This summer, focus on drowning prevention and pool safety.
Our next topic for discussion, is the danger of leaving children in a hot car. Here in Phoenix, where summer temperatures can rise above 120-degrees, leaving a child in the car isn’t just dangerous, it is deadly.
According to the nonprofit safety group Kids and Cars, more than 600 children have died in the United States since 1990 as a result of being left alone in a hot car. The tragic part of these deaths is that they were all 100 percent preventable. Most of the time, the parents or supervisors had no idea they were doing something wrong. Occasionally, these deaths happen when a child gains access to an unlocked car and becomes trapped inside.
To begin with even a minute is too long. “It is never OK to leave kids or pets in a car — even with the windows down. It is an absolute no-no,” says Christopher McStay, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center.
On a day that is just a temperate 72-degrees out, the interior temperature of a car can increase by 30 to 40 degrees in an hour. Most of this increase takes places in the first thirty minutes. Now imagine how quickly the interior of a car will heat up when it is 115-degrees out! Heat stroke can may occur when the body temperature goes above 104-degrees.
As a rule, if you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 immediately. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration states, “if they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible.”