Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Parent to Parent: Kids Left in Cars
Most parents think it could never happen to them. They would not forget their infant in a hot car. But authorities say it is happening a lot. In tonight's Parent to Parent, 7's Lynn Martinez has tips that could save a child's life.
WSVN -- It is a scene that plays out over and over again in South Florida.
Caller: "You've got to hurry. She's really, really sweaty. I don't know what we're supposed to do. We don't want the baby to die now!"
A child found unresponsive in the back seat of a hot car. In 2009, a 3-month-old girl dies in a car after her grandmother forgot she was in the back seat.
Earlier that same year, a little boy was found dead in the back of a truck after the mother went to work, forgetting he was there.
Woman: "The mother came out from PetSmart, screaming, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Jennifer Belyeu, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital: "This is a big issue. We here in the state of Florida rank number two with statistics with children left in their vehicles right behind Texas, so it's something that we always need to be conscious of."
The bottom line: when a child falls asleep or is quiet, It's easier than you think to forget they are still in the car, and most times, doctors say the child dies.
Dr. Michael Weiss, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital: "The car will very quickly reach temperatures of 110 to 120 degrees in 10 or 15 minutes, and the child's core body temperature will go in the fatal range within minutes after that."
But these deaths are preventable, and as we head into the hot summer, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is teaming up with Safe Kids Broward to remind parents why they need to "Look Before You Lock Up."
Here's some tips to keep your kids safe. If you do have a child in the back seat, put your purse next to them. That way, you have to go into the back seat before you go inside. Another good reminder: put a teddy bear or a diaper bag in the front seat to help you remember that your baby is in the back.
Jennifer Belyeu: "You can put a stuffed animal in that car seat when they're not riding, and then when they are riding, you can put that stuffed animal in the front seat to remind you that you have a child in the back seat."
And never, ever leave little ones alone in a car, even if it's just to run into the store and grab one thing.
Kyril Monts, Safe Kids Broward: "Parents don't realize how hot the inside of their car gets in just a very few minutes. Don't leave your child alone."
Simple rules that can help keep your child safe.
Lynn Martinez: "If you see a baby or a child alone in a car, whether it's locked or not, call 911. If they look hot or sick, try to get them out as quickly as possible."
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Safe Kids Broward
Safe Kids Miami-Dade