Parents Watch: Vehicular heatstroke can cause death to you child

Vehicular heatstroke has severally been reported to have cause death of several children after they were abandoned in a locked car at seperate locations.

Of recent incident, an eight-year-old child died on Sunday in Bumula, Bungoma County, when his mother left him in a locked car and went in a hotel with her lover.

On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death, reports.

Far too many children have been inadvertently left in vehicles or have gotten into a vehicle on their own. Vehicular heat stroke tragedies change the lives of parents, families, and communities forever.

Child Vehicular Heat Stroke Fact Sheet

Vehicular heat stroke is largely misunderstood by the general public. The majority of parents are misinformed
and would like to believe that they could never “forget” their child in a vehicle.

The most dangerous mistake a parent or caregiver can make is to think leaving a child alone in a vehicle could never happen to them or their family.

In well over 50% of these cases, the person responsible for the child’s death unknowingly left them in the
vehicle. In most situations this happens to the most loving, caring and protective parents.

It has happened to a teacher, dentist, social worker, police officer, nurse, clergyman, soldier, and even a rocket scientist. It can happen to anyone.

The greenhouse effect in a vehicle

The inside of a vehicle heats up VERY quickly!  Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside
a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes.

Cracking the windows does not help slow the heating process OR d
ecrease the maximum temperature

80% of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes. Children have died from heatstroke in cars in temps as low as 60 degrees.

What could be the contibuting factors?

A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body.

Change in normal daily routine, lack of sleep, stress, fatigue, distractions, hormone changes, worrysymptoms that ALL new parents experience! Symptoms that ALL new parents experience!

Rear-facing car seats look the same whether there is a baby in it or not.

Children, especially babies, often fall asleep in their rear-facing child safety seats; becoming quiet,
unobtrusive little passengers

What causes a parent to misremember?

The basal ganglia takes over and suppresses the prefrontal cortex. The brain is on auto-pilot, doing what
it would do on any given day, not accounting for changes in routine. Memory specialists note that the basal ganglia

Memory specialists note that the basal ganglia is much more likely to take over when someone
is fatigued.“Parents lose awareness that their children are in their cars. Tragically, these parents report that they had

“Parents lose awareness that their children are in their cars. Tragically, these parents report that they had
pictures of their child on their desks, they talked about their child, and even left work on time to pick up their
child from daycare, ”  says Dr. David Diamond, Neuroscientist, University of South Florida.

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