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June 24, 2003
Paramedics urge parents to remember car safety for kids in hot weather
  
Toronto EMS paramedics remind everyone that hot temperatures can be deadly for
children left unattended in cars.

"Never leave your child in an unattended car, even with the windows open," said
Dean Shaddock, Coordinator of Toronto EMS's Community Medicine response teams.
"Even the time it takes to run a short errand could put your children - or pets
- at risk."

Young children, especially infants, are much more sensitive to heat than adults
are. Kids have a smaller body surface area, so they cannot regulate their body
temperatures as quickly as adults can. Rising temperatures inside a car can
produce significant heat stress on children causing severe dehydration, heat
exhaustion or heat stroke that may result in serious illness or death.

On a typical sunny day in Canada, the temperature inside a parked car can
exceed 50°C (122°F) in just 10-20 minutes. In less than 40 minutes, this high
temperature could kill a child. "Extremely high temperatures, such as the ones
we're experiencing during this week's Heat Alert, are even more dangerous,"
added Shaddock. "Opening the window slightly does not keep the temperature at a
safe level."

When entering your vehicle on hot days, make sure you check the temperature of
your child's safety seat surface and safety belt buckles before restraining
children in the car. Skin that touches car seat surfaces that are over 66°C
(150°F) can be severely burned in one second.

Parents and caregivers should teach children not to play in, on or around cars.
Car doors and trunks should always be locked when parked in the driveway or
near the home and car keys should be kept out of reach and sight. When a child
is missing, check vehicles and car trunks right away.

If your child gets locked inside a car, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For further summer safety information for kids, including safety tips for
babysitters and pool safety, please see the Safe Kids Canada web site at www.safekidscanada.ca and the Toronto EMS web site at
http://www.toronto.ca/ems.

Media Contacts:
Dean Shaddock, Coordinator, Community Medicine Program, Toronto EMS,
416-338-0473
Peter Macintyre, Manager, Community Safeguard Services, Toronto EMS,
416-392-2069



 

 

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