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Primary Children’s Reminds Parents To Never Leave Children In Hot Car

Jun 15, 2021, 8:40 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital reminded parents to never leave a child in a vehicle, even for a minute, as Utah faces a record-setting heat wave.

Safety experts shared tips Tuesday to help prevent the unintended injury, or even the death, of a child.

The temperature inside a closed vehicle during a heat wave could be deadly, especially for a child. A child’s body temperature will increase three to five times faster than an adult’s.

Just how hot can it get inside a vehicle parked in the sun?

Jessica Strong, community health manager for Primary Children’s Hospital, put a thermometer in a minivan around 10:30 a.m., when the temperature was in the mid-90s. About 30 minutes later, the temperature inside registered 126 degrees and it was still climbing.

Approximately 40 children die each year nationwide after being left in a hot vehicle.

In Utah, 13 children have died since 1990. No deaths were reported last year.

These are preventable accidents, Strong said, and Primary Children’s wants to help people remember when they have a child in the car.

While it may seem unimaginable, experts said we are all vulnerable to stress, lapses of judgment, and fatigue and distraction, which could make a person forget a sleeping child.

“This year has brought all kinds of changes in routine, lots of stress, lots of fatigue,” said Strong. “So that, combined with the record temperatures we’re experiencing, unfortunately could be a recipe for disaster.”

Never leave your child alone in the car just for a minute, Strong said, even if you’re just dashing into the store.

Leave a reminder in the backseat with the kid. For example, put your cell phone or wallet in with the car seat. That way, when you get to your destination, you are likely to remember you have a baby on board.

Primary Children’s also offers a baby safety snap. When not in use, the yellow lanyard stays clipped into the buckle of the baby seat. When you put the baby in the seat, you put the lanyard around your neck as a reminder that you still have a baby in the car.

You can order the Safety snap at primarychildrens.org. They’re free, two per household.

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Primary Children’s Reminds Parents To Never Leave Children In Hot Car