Look Before You Lock

Jacqueline Khalaf, BSN, RN, CPST, Injury Prevention and Community Outreach Coordinator, Trauma Department, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician

The stories in the news are becoming too common:  “Child left alone in car dies.” 

Most parents believe it can never happen to them, but even the slightest change in routine or stress level can be a distraction that leads to the unthinkable.  Sleeping babies are so peaceful and it can be tempting to think that you can just run inside the store for a quick errand.  Never leave a child alone in a car.  Even a quick errand inside can lead to injury or death from heatstroke, even when the weather cools off.

Every 10 days, a child dies from heatstroke after being left in a car.  Last year alone, Texas tied with Florida for the number of cases of vehicular exhaustion. 

Here’s what you need to know about heat strokes in kids:

  • The temperature inside a car can rise 19 degrees or more in 10 minutes. 
  • Cracking windows does not help.
  • A child’s body heats up four to five times faster than an adult’s.

There are simple tips that can help:

  • Leave a cue in the back seat – a purse, work bag, or phone.
  • Have a plan with your daycare to check on your child.
  • Keep your car locked when you are not in it.
  • Don’t leave car remotes around children as they can get trapped in hot vehicles.
  • And always look before you lock!

Author: The Children's Hospital of San Antonio

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is the first freestanding hospital in San Antonio solely dedicated to the care of children. Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is owned by CHRISTUS Health System. Baylor College of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the nation, is the academic partner of The Children’s Hospital with 170 pediatric subspecialists affiliated with Baylor. In addition, community physicians in private practice remain a valuable partner in the care of children in our community. We are a health care ministry that works to continually meet the needs of the community to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, following the values and mission of our sponsoring congregations; Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio, as well as our newest sponsoring congregation, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

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