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Hot Cars Pose Hazard for Children

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FAYETTEVILLE — The temperature outside is hot, but in a closed car the temperature is even hotter. That difference of degrees can be deadly for a child.

Already this year, five children have died nationwide after being left in hot cars. That number topped 30 last summer.

"Because you're confined, there's no air circulation," says EMS Medical Director Dr. Keith Henderson. "The way the body cools is by perspiration and air circulation, and so if you have no air circulation you have no cooling ability."

In a car, temperatures can rise more than 20 degrees above the outside temperature in 20 minutes. There are other dangers as well.

"The younger the child, the more susceptible they are to dehydration because more of their body weight is water," Henderson says.

More than a third of the deaths reported last year occurred when kids were playing in an unlocked car in their own driveway.

To keep your children safe:
  • Never, ever leave a child alone in a car, even if the windows are cracked or open and you think you are just running in someplace for a minute.
  • Always make sure all children have left the car before you lock it.
  • Lock your car, even if it is in the garage.
  • Teach your children not to play in or around cars or car trunks.
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