Hot cars a danger zone for children

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. There's never an occasion when it's safe for parents to leave children in cars, but as summer approaches, the risks grow even more, emergency responders said.

44 children died of vehicular heatstroke in 2013 in the U.S. Five have already died from the same cause this year.

"It's very important because I've seen many videos and it does get very hot very very fast and it's very important that you always have them with you," said Carrie Ostrander, a mom of two.

Temperatures in cars can be dramatically higher than outside. For example, at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, it was 68 degrees. But a heat gun detected the temperature inside of a car to be upwards of 90 degrees.

"Even though you may have tinted windows and things of that nature, just leave a car for a very short period of time in 90-100 degree weather and you come back in minutes later and it's significant heat differences upwards of 120-130 degrees," said Jody Hudson, of the Grand Junction Fire Department.

Young children are extra sensitive to harsh heat conditions.

"The younger they are, the higher risk they are to having these subtle changes to major changes in heat emergencies that they can't communicate to you," Hudson said.

Emergency responders ask parents to take their children with them out of the car even if they're running a quick errand. People can report a child alone in a car at anytime, even if it's not hot outside.

Also, parents are encouraged check the back seat and trunk of the car before they lock it even if they don't think their children are with them.


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