SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Connecticut boy is dead after being left in a hot car, but deadly heatstroke, especially in children, can easily be prevented.
Intentional or accidental, it’s a tragedy we’ve been seeing too often this summer. So far in 2014, more than a dozen children have died after being left alone in hot cars.
“I’m shocked because I don’t know how people can just leave the kids behind,” a Springfield resident said.
So 22News discovered just how quickly a car can heat up when it’s 80 degrees outside.
After running the car’s air conditioning for a while, the thermometer said it’s just under 70 degrees, right at 68.7 degrees inside the car, but checking the thermometer after just 10 minutes of no air conditioning with all the windows up, it says it’s 78 degrees in the car.
A 10-degree difference in 10 minutes. Doctors told 22News kids and pets should never be left alone in cars.
Joseph Schmidt is the Chief of Emergency of Medicine at Baystate Medical Center. He told 22News “Obviously never leave a car running either even if that’s a strategy for keeping it cooler, unless there’s a driver sitting in the car, behind the sit that can control the car. So yes, the answer is there’s no safe amount of time.”
On a hot, humid day, parents should be aware of another health risk, dehydration.
“My husband had one of those because he wasn’t hydrated enough. So I get a lot of Gatorade, a lot of water, I freeze them overnight,” Emily Velez of Springfield said.
You can also limit your outdoor activities and stay indoors during the hottest part of the day.
Last year 44 children died because they were left in hot cars.