all have daily routines that help keep us on track. Be extra careful,
though, if you have to change any part of that routine. This is more
likely to happen when you, your spouse, or other caregiver who helps
with your children, forgets that a child is in the back seat. This can
and does happen when routines are changed or modified.
other times, you are on your way home and realize you need to stop in
at the store and pick up one or two things for dinner. So, you leave
your child unattended, thinking, "I’ll just run into the store
for a minute." Even cool temperatures in the 60s can cause the
temperature to rise well above 110 degrees Fahrenheit inside your car.
These elevated temperatures can be dangerous to children, pets, or
car’s windows act like a greenhouse, trapping sunlight and heat. A
May 2004 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
indicated that approximately 25 children a year die as a result of
being left or becoming trapped in hot vehicles. "Cars parked in
direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures up to 131 degrees —
172 degrees when outside temperatures are 80-100 degrees." When
the outside temperature is 83 degrees, even with the window rolled
down two inches, the temperature inside the car can reach 109 degrees
in only 15 minutes.
the first 10 minutes the temperature in an enclosed vehicle will rise
an average of 19 degrees or 82 percent of its eventual one-hour
rise." In warm weather, a vehicle can warm to dangerous,
life-threatening levels in only 10 minutes.
keep children safe:
leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the window slightly
Always lock a vehicle’s doors and trunk — especially at home. Keep
keys and remote entry devices out of children’s reach.
children closely around vehicles, particularly when loading and
unloading. Check to ensure all children leave the vehicle when you
reach your destination. Don’t overlook sleeping infants.
especially careful if you’re dropping off infants or children at day
care and that’s not part of your normal routine.
something that you’ll need at your next stop, for example, a purse,
lunch, gym bag or briefcase on the floor of the backseat where the
child is sitting. This simple act could help prevent you from
accidentally forgetting a child.
you get home, bring your child/infant inside the house first and then
carry in the groceries or other items so that you don’t get
distracted inside the house and forget your little one outside in the
pets at home when running errands. They are susceptible to heat
Crook, a Fort McCoy police officer, said Fort McCoy Regulation 190-5
states children cannot be left unattended in vehicles at Fort McCoy
under any circumstances, which is similar to other states’
or other adults can help ensure this doesn’t happen by making it a
habit to check both front and back seats when leaving their vehicles.
who ride in vehicles must be secured in child car-safety seats, if
more information about the proper use of child car-safety seats at
Fort McCoy, contact Crook at 608-388-2266.
shift has qualified personnel who can instruct parents about how to
properly secure their children in car-safety seats.
on alert for cars that might have an unattended child left inside. If
you see a child alone in a car, be sure to call 911 immediately and
help make sure the child gets out as soon as possible.
(Submitted by the U.S.
Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.)