Keep Kids Safe In and Around Cars

Even when summer is over, here in Florida the heat remains an issue for most of the year. The temperature inside a parked car, even with the windows down, can reach 125 degrees in just minutes. Even on a relatively cool day, a vehicle can become like a greenhouse—an enclosed space with a lot of glass. This greenhouse effect makes the inside car temperature potentially deadly. If they live, children left inside these hot cars oftentimes suffer permanent organ damage with the most debilitating damage occurring to the central nervous system. A child’s organs begin to shut down much sooner than an adult’s. Heat stroke can occur in minutes. The same message applies to pets, too.

While the air bag safety law saves lives by requiring children of a certain age ride in the back seat of a vehicle, it also creates another problem—children can be forgotten in the back seat. There is also evidence from a national survey that many people believe it is okay to leave a child unattended in a car. Caregivers need to remember that the temperature outside car does not equal inside temperatures—inside it is much hotter. There are dangers outside motor vehicles as well. Teach your children to never play in, around or behind any vehicle.

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