The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Mark Howie
Wahkiakum County Sheriff 

Know the risks and consequences of leaving kids in cars

 


Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat, but caregivers who are unaccustomed to transporting children are especially prone to forgetting. Think about the last time your routine was interrupted. Maybe you forgot something, or were afraid you might forget something. Or maybe you decided to leave your child alone in the car, thinking "I'll just run into the store for a minute."

In either case, it's important to know the risks and consequences associated with leaving kids in cars - especially hot cars.

Risks

In 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cracking a window does little to keep the car cool.

With temperatures in the 60s, your car can heat up to well above 110 degrees.

A child's body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult's.

Heatstroke can happen when the temperature is as low as 57 degrees outside!

A child dies when his/her temperature reaches 107.

Circumstances

An examination of media reports about the 606 child vehicular heatstroke deaths for a 14 year period (1998 through 2013) shows the following circumstances:

52 percent--child "forgotten" by caregiver (316 children)

29 percent--child playing in unattended vehicle (175)

18 percent--child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (108)

1 percent--circumstances unknown (6)

Consequences

The heat-related death of a child: Misdemeanor (*Felony, if substantial bodily harm or death results from leaving a child alone in a hot car) including fines, revoked license, and/or possible imprisonment.

Prevention Tips to Avoid Tragic Heatstroke

Never leave a child alone in a car.

Don't let your kids play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.

Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.

Become vigilant about looking in the vehicle before locking the door. Always look front and back before walking away--always!

More information available at: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/heatstroke.htm.

National Night Out Against Crime

NNOAC will take place on Tuesday August 5 this year. If you would like to set up a neighborhood gathering ie. potluck, BBQ, ice cream social, the deputies along with the sheriff will stop by for a friendly visit.

In years past, VIPS and the Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Office have sponsored a local event. This year, however, the focus is on individual neighborhood events. The event is all about police partnerships with the community and the community's partnership with itself; about people coming together to be good stewards and take a stand against crime in their neighborhoods.

Look for more information in The Eagle next week to sign up with the sheriff's office.

 

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