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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Leaving children in cars alone increases risk of dying from heatstroke – warn experts

It only takes six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car.

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Whether it is a summer excursion, a day trip to the beach, leisure in the countryside or a short visit to a grocery store, in summer the temperature inside the car rises very quickly. 

The high temperature can turn into a tragedy, as every year, small children and pets suffer heatstroke in the car. Even a few minutes on a hot day can be fatal.

The KidsandCars.org research team recognizes that leaving children in cars alone carries a significant risk of dying from hyperthermia (heatstroke), as research shows that a child’s body overheats three to five times faster than the body of an adult. 

In the US there are an average of 39 deaths each year. Cases in Europe are less common, but several deaths have also been reported in Ireland, France, and Belgium, with passers-by often taking initiatives to break car windows to remove children or pets.

Between 2009 and 2018, according to the animal charity RSPCA, there were 64,443 reported cases of animals left alone in cars in England and Wales for even a short time. 

According to the organization, it only takes six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car.

Experts advise drivers to look carefully before locking their car so as not to forget a pet inside or in any case not to leave even a small child, in order to make their work easier.

This is one of the main reasons why many modern car models have warning systems, which detect the presence of a child or pet in the car when the driver moves away from it.

In order to highlight the dangers of cars in very high temperatures, Ford commissioned an ice sculptor to create an image of a child with ice and one resembling a dog. Then they put them in a car and in a place where they simulated the ambient temperatures. 

The test took place in Cologne, Germany. Outside the car, the temperature was set at 35°C. Within 19 minutes, the temperature inside the car had risen to 50°C, causing the ice sculptures to begin to melt.

For the purposes of the video, the professional ice sculptor created the model of a 12-month-old baby, with a pacifier holding a toy and a full-size labrador dog, who wears a dog collar and is sitting inside a pet box in the back of a Ford Focus Wagon. 

Tests at the facility showed how global warming can affect vehicles. Radiation enters through the windows, bounces off the seats and dashboard and heats the vehicle.

The children who died of heatstroke in the cars were either abandoned by their parents or trapped. In 2018 and 2019 there was a negative record of deaths in the US, as 53 children died from heatstroke in cars. 

In 2020, 24 children lost their lives and in 2021 four more children died.

Most deaths (53%) occur because someone forgets a child in a car. Families who have lost a child have overlooked the fact that even a short period of time can have fatal consequences. Almost 75% of the children who were forgotten were under 2.

Heat stroke is the second leading cause of death in vehicles for children 14 years of age and under according to the reports, with 25% of deaths occur because the child has access to an unsupervised vehicle and not because a parent left them inside.

Image Credit: Getty

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