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Kids in hot cars: recipe for summer tragedy.

During summer, the dangers for children being seriously injured or even dying after being left unattended inside a hot car rise as fast as the temperature. The California Office of Traffic Safety is cautioning parents and caregivers that hyperthermia (heatstroke) can become a dangerous reality, even after just a few minutes of a child being left alone in a car.

"Even on a 60[degrees] day, a car's internal temperature can skyrocket and reach well above 110[degrees] In just a few minutes," warns Director Rhonda Craft. "It's important that children are never left unattended In a vehicle for any amount of time, even with cracked windows, which do little to keep the car cool."

Just 10 minutes in hot sun can raise the Internal temperature of a car by nearly 20[degrees], more than 30[degrees] in a half-hour, and nearly 45[degrees] In an hour. Children's body heat regulatory systems are less efficient than an adult's, so they overheat three to five times faster. Injuries due to hyperthermia In hot cars can cause permanent brain injury, blindness, and a loss of hearing, among others.

Hyperthermia deaths and Injuries often occur after a child gets into an unlocked vehicle to play without a parent's knowledge. Other incidents can occur when a parent or caregiver encounters a break In normal routine, inadvertently forgetting a sleeping infant in a rear-facing car seat In the back of the vehicle.

It is wise to place a needed item for your next stop--such as a cell phone or purse--on the floor in front of the child's safety seat. This will serve as a reminder that a youngster is in the car.

It also helps to develop a routine before exiting your car: always look in the front and back of the vehicle before locking the doors--every time. Moreover, always lock car doors and do not give children access to keys or keyless entry devices. If a child is missing, be sure to check all vehicles and trunks.

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Title Annotation:Heatstroke
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Aug 1, 2014
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