Although it is early autumn, North Carolina weather is still mild. Warm weather and a closed car may have led to the death of a three-month old boy in a shopping center parking lot.
In early October, 911 dispatchers received a call from a man trying to help the infant. Found strapped in his car seat in a closed van in the Fanta City International Shopping Center, the three-month-old baby could not be revived. Pending the report from a medical examiner, law enforcement noted the child was left in the van for between one and five hours.
Heat-related illnesses are especially dangerous to infants and the elderly. Even with pleasant outdoor temperatures, the environment inside a closed vehicle can rapidly become lethal to an infant or small child.
Points to consider about children in cars include:
- A child or animal can suffer heat illness in a closed car when the outside temperature is in the fifty-degree range. It is not safe to leave a child alone in car, eve with the windows partly open.
- The body temperature of a child rises approximately five times faster than an adult’s.
- Do not encourage your child to consider a car a place to play with friends or by themselves. Cars are for transportation only.
Heat illnesses, like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, can quickly lead to death for people of any age. Children under four years of age and seniors over 65 are particularly vulnerable. For babies or seniors, be sure caregivers understand heat is a killer.