Health officials plead with parents to review heat safety tips - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Health officials plead with parents to review heat safety tips

Even the most vigilant of parents can fall victim to distraction. (Source: WFSB) Even the most vigilant of parents can fall victim to distraction. (Source: WFSB)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Another child died Monday as the result of being left in a hot car, as health officials continue to plead with parents to take the proper precautions.

Police in Ridgefield CT said a 15-month old boy died in a hot car parked about 30 miles west of New Haven. Temperatures in the area reached 88 degrees. KidsAndCars.org said at least 16 children have died of heatstrokes in vehicles this year alone.

Health officials said none of those deaths were in the Huntsville area, and they hope it stays that way. They said education about the dangers is key.

Most parents would say “I would never be able to do that” – but as we’ve seen all too often, it has happened. Experts say one good way to make sure you don’t do the unthinkable is to leave something important, something you don’t tend to leave behind, such as a cell phone or a brief case, in the back seat with the child.

Kayla and Luke Clark said they could never imagine accidentally leaving baby Levi in the car. Because they know the risks, they said they would never purposefully leave him, even for a quick stop at the store.

HEMSI Assistant Medical Director Dr. Eric Greenfield said the difference between the inside of a car and the outside temperature is close to 40 degrees.

“Certainly when it is hot like this, if it is 90 degrees outside, it could be 130,” said Dr. Greenfield. “That could cause heatstroke within minutes.”

The doctor said children absorb heat much quicker than adults.

“Even if they don’t die from it, the heat-related illness can be devastating,” he said. “It can cause organ damage, brain damage, all kinds of problems.”

The Clarks said knowing the facts makes them that much more cautious.

Another recommended tip concerns locking up at the end of the drive. When you get home – even if the car is parked in the garage – lock those doors. There have been cases of children dying from heatstroke who have crawled into the car and locked themselves in.

Read more safety tips from SafeKids.org.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 
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