Ask Dr. Nandi: Hot cars can be deadly dangerous for children

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 17:30:08-04

It’s going to be a hot weekend. And when you add in the humidity, it could feel closer to 100 this coming Sunday.  

We all need to take extra precautions on sweltering days but we have a special warning for parents. Before locking your car please double check your back seat – you don’t want to accidentally forget a child there.

In scorching temperatures like this weekend, a car can easily turn into a greenhouse. And within 10 minutes, the temperature inside can heat up by 20 degrees.  

Roughly 37 children die every year, and in 55 percent of those cases, the parent accidentally forgot the child in the car.  

But you also need to be vigilant about watching kids too.  

A family friend thought her 4-year-old son was playing indoors. When the house became quiet, she went to check on him.  

After a long frantic search, he was found inside the back of her car. He had climbed in, pushed buttons as kids like to do, and accidentally locked himself in.  

Luckily, he was alright - but I want this to be a warning to all parents. Especially during the hottest summer months, as that’s when the rate of kids dying in cars spikes.

Opening a window will not help. Neither will a cloudy day or parking in the shade.  

And, please don’t think “I’ll only be gone a few minutes” - there is simply no safe amount of time you can leave a child alone in a car.  

It boils down to this - heatstroke can affect a child within a few minutes. That’s because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.  

Their brains become overwhelmed, and they can experience confusion, sluggishness, loss of consciousness and possibly death, if not caught in time.  

Now there’s new technology in cars like sensors that might help, but I’d much rather you be more mindful in life. And that means really paying attention to what you’re doing and what’s around you…instead of relying on technology to possibly save a child’s life.