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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Indian River County

Sheriff cautions parents over increasing heat, car safety
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Posted: 2014 Jun 20 - 06:42

Look twice before leaving the car

For Hometown News

TREASURE COAST -- With the summer heat, parents or caregivers can easily forget how hot it can get in a car with a child in the back seat once the car isn't running, warns St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

"It's tempting to want to leave a small child in a locked car while you run to a nearby store for a couple of items, but don't forget how hot it will get inside that car," Sheriff Mascara said. "The solution is never to leave a child alone in a car during the summer."

Sheriff Mascara said: "Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat, but caregivers who are unaccustomed to transporting children are especially prone to forgetting. Think about the last time your routine was interrupted. Maybe you forgot something, or were afraid you might forget something. Or maybe you decided to leave your child alone in the car, thinking 'I'll just run into the store for a minute.' In either case, it's important to know the risks and consequences associated with leaving kids in cars - especially hot cars."

Here are the risks:

In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.

With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.

A child's body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult's.

Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside.

A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.

This could result in the heat-related death of a child, which can be a felony under Florida law.

Here are some prevention tips to avoid a tragic heat stroke:

Never leave a child alone in a car.

Don't let your kids play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.

Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.

Keep a large teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it's empty. Move the teddy bear to the front seat when you place the child in the seat as a visual reminder.

If you are dropping your children off at childcare, but normally your spouse or partner drops them off, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure they were not left in the car.

Become vigilant about looking in the vehicle before locking the door. Always look front and back before walking away - always!

Parents can learn more about protecting their children in cars at www.safercar.gov/parents

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