JOPLIN, MO-- We've all heard the stories about small children, left forgotten in cars on a hot summer day and the deadly consequences that follow. A look at the dangers and how to keep kids safe.
"You go into heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration. A child can pass out in a matter of moments." When left unattended in a hot car, the temperatures can climb rapidly. Freeman Safety Officer Skip Harper says it's best not to take any chances leaving your child in the vehicle. "You know, there is no exact number; one minute is too long. But 5 - 10 minutes you could have a temperature increase to 120 plus degrees but then a few minutes longer, it could increase to 170 degrees."
And Harper adds that difference is even more serious for a child than an adult. "A child's body temperature increases three to five times faster than that of an adult. So it takes much less time for them to have serious medical conditions. While you as an adult may be warm, a child can go into a serious medical condition in a matter of a few minutes."
Harper says the best rule of thumb is to not take any chances. "Especially if you have an absentminded person or you have a very hectic lifestyle. The most important thing you can do, if you're getting groceries, things like that, get the child out first. That's the number one priority you have to think of."
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