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Video: the hidden danger of kids left alone in hot cars
When we talk about preventing heat stroke in children, people often think of sunscreen, proper hydration, and always making sure kids have a shady spot to sit.
But did you know a child dies of heat stroke every week-and-a-half from being left alone in a hot vehicle?
"Since it’s rare for the Pacific Northwest to have days hotter than 100 degrees, people often forget about the hidden danger when children are left in cars," said Dr. Sara Ahmed, pediatric physician in the Emergency Department at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. "On a warm day, it doesn’t take long for the inside of a car to get over 130 degrees."
If a parent doesn’t want to take a child into a store, they’ll often roll up their windows, so nobody will take their child.
"They might intend to rush in quickly, but they may bump into a friend or get stuck in a line," Dr. Ahmed said. "It’s innocent. But by the time they come out, their kid is in really bad shape. They've baked their baby."
A child's body absorbs more heat on a hot day than an adult's - it can take as little as 10 minutes for a car to reach a deadly temperature for a child trapped inside.
In one case earlier this week in Alabama, an 11-month-old girl died after being forgotten in a hot car for three hours. She was the 21st child to die in an overheated car in the U.S. so far in 2013.
The following video from Red Castle Productions shows what can happen in just a few minutes in a hot car.