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Car Safety: Why You Should Never Leave Kids Alone

April 22, 2021

No one expects a parent to be a perfect individual. However, it doesn’t give them an excuse to put their children in any dangerous situation.

Some parents, however, tend to leave their child inside a car alone when doing quick errands (e.g. buying something from a drugstore). They possibly think that it is safe and won’t do any harm, since they will just be gone for a few moments – but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Here are some reasons why you should never leave a car unattended inside a car:

The Dangers of Leaving Children Alone in a Car

Hyperthermia and Hypothermia

Parked cars are prone to extreme temperature increases. Even if you open a window a little bit, it won’t make it safer for the kid inside. On average, the temperature inside a car can rise up to 19 degrees in just a few minutes. Can you just imagine if this happens during a hot summer day?

As a result, a kid may suffer from a severe form of hyperthermia, such as heat stroke. A child’s body, especially the younger ones, overheats faster than adults. This means that it is just a matter of minutes before the situation becomes life-threatening to the kid left alone inside.

However, do not think that leaving a kid alone at night or during cold weather is a safer option. Unlike adults, children cannot produce enough body heat fast. If you left them alone in the car on a snowy or cold night, they may experience hypothermia, which means that the kid’s body is losing body heat faster than it can produce. And if they become stuck inside the car for too long, it may result in a life-threatening situation, such as heart and respiratory failure.

Loss of life

Since 1998, about 882 kids have died due to Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke in the country. The worst part of that is that 31% of those are children below the age of one. More than half of those cases are due to the caregivers (parents, babysitters, etc.) forgetting to bring the kids with them before leaving the car.

A more disturbing fact is that almost 20% of all deaths are children who were intentionally left by the caregiver. If you think about it, these deaths are avoidable. If their caregivers didn’t show negligence and became just a little more cautious, those children might still be alive today.

Due to the seriousness of dangers surrounding leaving children alone in a car, many states already have laws that make it illegal. Here are them:

{make this 3 columns}

  • Alabama

  • California

  • Connecticut

  • Florida

  • Hawaii

  • Illinois

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Maryland

  • Michigan

  • Missouri

  • Nebraska

  • Nevada

  • Oklahoma

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Washington

If you’re from a state not included in this list, you should not be complacent. Leaving a child inside a car alone is truly dangerous. You should make sure that you won’t leave a kid alone in the car whether intentionally or not.

Is It Ever Okay to Leave Your Kids Alone in a Car?

The simple answer to this question is NEVER. Not even for a short time. Putting a child in danger is something I am sure no one intends to do. Whether your state has specific laws about this or not, you should be extremely careful in ensuring that you won’t be leaving a kid inside a car.

And if you see any child alone in a car, dial 911 quickly. Your immediate action might just save a helpless child.

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