Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oven-Baked Babies

A toddler in Edmonton died after being left alone in a hot car. He didn't actually die in the car, but later in hospital. The car was locked when police arrived and when they pulled him out the temperature outside was above 30 degrees Celsius. That blows my mind. How hot and stuffy do you think it was inside that car?

It's so easy for children to fatally overheat. They don't have the sweat glands adults do and can't cool down their bodies. A lot of times they can't even tell you that they're dehydrated. Leaving the window down a crack doesn't help pets or kids. It's just wrong and plain ignorant to leave them unattended in a car no matter what the weather and no matter what the errand!

Growing up, I spent lots of time waiting in the car while my mom or dad ran in to get something. My mom would do it when I was older, like 11, so there weren't as many risks there. Except maybe being abducted, but the chances of that happening are pretty low, especially if the doors are all locked.

My Dad however, is a different story. He'd drive over to the bar in Richer, buy a big bag of cherries from the BC Fruit stand and I would sit in the truck alone with the window rolled down to spit out the pits while Dad went in to buy a case of beer, (and also drink some beer and probably play pool.) It always seemed like he was gone a long time, but it couldn't have been more than hour. I was much younger... maybe 8 or 9, sometimes my little sister was with me. We could have been abducted for sure, but with the windows all the way down and the cherries to eat, I doubt we would have gotten heat stroke. It did get pretty hot in that truck and I remember feeling very thirsty!

I can't imagine doing that with Tesla. You'd think times have changed since when we were young, but when so many kids are dying while waiting for their parents in a locked car, it really makes you wonder if our society has learned anything at all. With all the improvements we've made to car seats, cribs, and laws regarding kids wearing proper helmets and safety gear, how is it that there are still kids today dying from being over heated? We have plenty of fresh water, air conditioning, fancy strollers, and yet children die in hot cars. Are the parents just too lazy to bring them into the supermarket with them?

Yes, it would be easier to leave Tesla in the car while I run into the bank quick, but you don't have children to make your life easier. If you feel safe enough to leave your kid alone in the car, maybe just leave your kid at home alone instead. (I don't think it's safe to leave a 3 year old home alone though.)

I'm just going to throw this out there, though I really shouldn't have to: If you have a kid or pet in your care... don't leave him or her in the car alone. If you are in a parking lot and you spot a dog or a child alone in the car, break the window and call police. It's not illegal if you're doing it to save a child or animal's life. You don't know how long it's going to take the police to come, that's why you always break the window first. Otherwise a forgotten child could die waiting for help.

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