There is no safe amount of time to leave your child in a hot car. Every 10 days in the United States, a child dies when left alone in the car.
“Even if it’s not super-hot outside that car turns into an oven very quickly,” said research director with Augusta University Health, Dr. James Wilde. “That means your child or pet is baking very quickly.”
Richmond County deputies say they found two young kids locked in a hot car.
An incident report shows the vehicle was not running, the windows were rolled up, and one of the kids was unconscious and covered in feces.
Dr. Wilde says parents and others need to know that even a quick errand can be deadly.
“That heat is directly affecting the brain and causing brain damage,” said Wilde. “If you don’t do something about it relatively quickly, that person will die.”
The children were taken to the hospital.
Dr. Wilde says Augusta University Health sees these incidents happen quite often during the summertime.
“We probably see about a half dozen cases per summer of kids that are left in cars,” explained Wilde. “Luckily, most of them don’t die. Nationally you’re looking at 30 to 40 deaths per year.”
That’s due to a child’s body warms up three to five times faster than an adult.
“It’s taking time to get there because you’re feeling horrendously bad because you have that massive heat influx in the meantime,” said Wilde.
Dr. Wilde also says a hot car adds about 10 to 20 degrees extra than it already is outside.
He says that’s way too hot to leave any human being in a hot car by themselves. This is just one thing to think about.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps