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by Ashley Culver | Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2014, 9:23 AM
With temperatures rising in Middle Tennessee, safety experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt want to stress the danger of leaving children unattended in vehicles. Last year, there were at least 44 deaths of children left in hot vehicles. So far in 2014, there have been at least 11 deaths in the United States.
According to physicians at Children’s Hospital, a child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and when the body’s temperature reaches 104 degrees, the internal organs begin to shut down. Children are placed at extreme risk for severe hypothermia and heat stroke in just minutes.
“In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can heat up by 19 degrees and continue to rise,” said Purnima Unni, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program manager.
A new study by Safe Kids Worldwide found that 14 percent of parents say they have left a child alone inside a parked vehicle despite the risk of heatstroke. For parents of children 3 and under, the percentage increases to 23 percent.
Children’s Hospital offers the following tips to avoid vehicle-related heat injuries or death:
Teach your children never to play in vehicles in order to prevent them from accidentally locking themselves inside one. Be sure to lock all doors and windows to vehicles on your property.
Community members who see a child left alone in a hot vehicle should immediately take action and call 911.
Please visit the Children’s Hospital’s website for detailed safety information.
Ashley Culver, (615) 322-4747
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