Expert gives insight on leaving children alone in hot cars (includes video story)

As temperatures rise in South Florida, experts say parents should be wary of leaving their children alone in cars.

On a typical 75-degree day, the interior of an automobile can soar to 104 degrees within just 30 minutes. On a 95-degree day, it can reach 102 in a mere five minutes. A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than adults, making them extremely vulnerable to heat-related injuries or fatalities in hot cars.

Dr. Sarah Lazarus, an emergency medicine doctor from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, explains that busy or hurried parents might inadvertently forget their child inside the car, particularly if there is a change in their daily routine. She emphasizes the avoidable nature of these incidents, stressing that no amount of time is safe for a child to be left alone in a car.

To prevent these accidents, Dr. Lazarus and the Strong4Life program recommend placing personal items in the backseat as a reminder, making a habit of checking the entire vehicle before exiting and ensuring that childcare providers call if a child does not show up. Strong4Life also suggests writing a note and placing it on the steering wheel or keeping a child’s toy, purse or cell phone next to the child’s seat.

Melissa Krikler is majoring in digital broadcasting with an area of concentration in psychology. She wishes to continue her studies after to receive a master’s.