Tragic reminders

Every summer, we hear numerous cases of the same tragic stories – parents, for whatever reason, leave their children in their cars out in the hot summer sun.

Some do it thinking perhaps they will only be a few minutes in whatever place they’re dashing off to. Although leaving a child in a car alone – no matter where, when or what the temperature – is impossible to fathom in virtually any case.

Then there are others who are so plugged into a routine, that they become distracted and simply forget their helpless youngsters – only to remember six or so hours later. It’s horrifying to think about.

Not long ago, there was a report on TV about a woman who had left her son in her car. She agreed that at one time, she would have been one of those people who simply couldn’t have fathomed making such a tragic mistake. Then it happened to her, as she explained her routine had taken a few unexpected turns that fateful morning. She lives with the pain, guilt and grief everyday, and now tries to bring more awareness to the issue.

It’s likely that many people don’t really understand the speed in which a vehicle can go from being warm to being excruciatingly hot.

According to the Canada Safety Council, even on days that seem relatively mild, 20 minutes is all it takes for the interior of a vehicle to reach extreme temperatures.

In the confined space of a car, temperatures can climb so rapidly that they overwhelm a child’s ability to regulate his or her internal temperature. In a closed environment, the body, especially a small body, can go into shock quickly, and circulation to vital organs can fail, the web site points out.

Extreme heat affects infants and small children more quickly and dramatically than adults because of their size. Their core temperature can increase three to five times faster than that of an adult. Heatstroke, or hyperthermia, occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches 40.5C.

A study funded by General Motors of Canada found that within 20 minutes the air temperature in a previously air-conditioned small car exposed to the sun on a 35C day exceeded 50C. Within 40 minutes the temperature soared to 65.5C

Leaving a window slightly open, or ‘cracked,’ did little to prevent the temperature from rising to a level that is dangerous for children, vulnerable adults and pets.

Experts therefore recommend that parents and guardians put something they will need, like a cell phone, near the child in the backseat. The Canada Safety Council even recommends putting a toy on the front seat as a reminder there is a child onboard.

It is never safe to leave a child alone in a vehicle, period. Even for a few minutes.

Just Posted

Alberta’s Pascale Paradis earns bronze in 7.5 km Female Biathlon

Canada Games action carries through to March 2nd

Alberta earns three medals in Long Track Speed Skating

Alberta now has 16 medals (6-5-5) and currently sits in second place of the medal standings

Calgary singer Shaye Zadravec gearing up for City appearance

Talented songstress to open for Latin guitarist Oscar Lopez Feb. 22nd

Team Alberta takes exciting victory in wheelchair basketball, remains undefeated

After three games in the tournament, Alberta is sitting in first place of its pool

Team Alberta adds nine medals on day two of competition at Canada Winter Games

Team Alberta had a solid day at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

Alberta investing $3.7B to move oil by rail, leasing cars

4,400 leased railway cars will move up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

Most Read