Everyone knows to never leave a child in a hot car. But did you know it is just as dangerous to leave a child in a cold car?
After some incredibly mild months, winter has finally arrived in Rochester. Icy roads and low visibility aren’t the only winter driving dangers. Everyone knows to never leave a child in a hot car. But did you know it is just as dangerous to leave a child in cold car? Once you turn off the engine, the temperature inside a car can drop quickly. Children strapped in car seats are especially susceptible to hypothermia. If you follow safety guidelines, your child does not wear a coat when buckled into a car seat. Unless you place their coat or a blanket over their lap, children in car seats have no barrier between themselves and the cold.
Babies are in an even more dangerous position because they are unable to shiver, which is the body’s way of trying to warm itself. While the effects of hyperthemia (heat stroke) don’t set in until your body temperature rises above 104, a drop of only a few degrees can lead to hypothermia.
According to the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothermia/basics/definition/con-20020453), your body starts to feel distress when your temperature goes below 95. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, confusion, fatigue and slurred or mumbled speech.
No matter the weather, you should never leave a child alone in a car. One of the simplest ways to prevent accidentally leaving a child in your car is to put something you’ll need at your destination – such as your purse, wallet or phone – next to the car seat. If you put your phone back there, you get the added bonus of removing the temptation to text and drive. At Pop-A-Lock of Greater Rochester, we urge you to always look before you lock!