Over the last few weeks, a number of children across the province have been left alone in vehicles in scorching temperatures. The Halton Children’s Aid Society offers the following tips for parents, caregivers and the general public to prevent more tragedies.
The facts are simple.
- The temperature inside a parked car can exceed 50oC within 10 to 20 minutes on a typical Canadian summer day
- Opening the window(s) slightly DOES NOT reduce the temperature
- Heatstroke occurs at 40.50C
- Young children, especially infants, are three to five times more sensitive to heat than adults
- Rising temperatures inside a car can cause a child to suffer from heat stress, dehydration, shock and, in extreme cases, even death
Car Safety Tips
- Never leave your children alone in a car, even with the windows down
- If you have to leave your car, even to run a quick errand, take your children with you
- Never use a car as your substitute babysitter
- Do not leave your children in a car without adult supervision for any length of time—not even for a minute!
- Make a habit of looking in your vehicle, front and back, before leaving — look before you leave
- Lock your car and secure your keys to prevent children playing inside the car
- Be especially careful if you change your routine and have someone else drive your child—follow up to ensure they arrived at their destination
What Can You Do if You See a Child Alone in a Car?
- Don’t delay—call 9-1-1
- Give your location, vehicle license plate information and approximate age/condition of child
- Wait for police/emergency services to arrive
- If the car is unlocked, open the doors and shield the windows with a blanket or safely remove the child from the vehicle
To download a copy of the flyer, go to the Society’s website at www.HaltonCAS.ca. If you have questions or concerns, contact the Halton Children’s Aid Society at 905.333.4441.
Child safety, Halton Children's Aid Society, Heat Alert, Heat Warnings, Heatstroke, July 2016, What to do if a child is left alone in a car