High heat a reminder to not leave children alone in cars

With temperatures reaching well into the 100′s this coming weekend, it’s dangerous for anybody to be sitting in a car for too long.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 7:51 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With temperatures reaching well into the 100′s this coming weekend, it’s dangerous for anybody to be sitting in a car for too long. That especially includes children and infants.

The high heat is a reminder to never leave infants or children in cars alone, even for just a few minutes. Sanford’s CHILD Services states the beginning of summer is always a reminder for parents to be sure to check back seats for children.

“When it gets so hot out, it doesn’t take very long. Especially newer parents can get distracted, lack of sleep. They could have a sleeping baby in the back, which they’re not used to that. A lot of times it’s really quiet, so they can get distracted with outside stuff.” Community Programs Supervisor Nikki McLaughlin said.

Leaving a thermometer out in a car quickly shows how fast it can heat up. After only a few minutes, the temperature in the car reached 130 degrees. After a while, it reached up to 180 degrees before becoming too hot to give a reading.

“80 percent of the heat that comes in a vehicle happens within the first ten minutes. It can happen really quickly, and get super hot really fast.” McLaughlin said.

For Jessica Stokes, these high temperatures are a reminder to be wary of every time she gets in and out of a car with her child.

“When I’m getting in and out of the vehicle, I’m just always double checking. Even if he’s in there or not, I’m just always double checking. Turning around, making sure he’s still there.” Stokes said.

Stokes said there’s stories about families leaving children in cars on accident. While no one’s fault, they’re reminders on being diligent and cautious.

“And I think that’s one thing to know too, is that it can happen. And it happens to a lot of families. So I think just knowing that and just being extra cautious, is just something that I try to practice.” Stokes said.

McLaughlin said to build good habits about checking back seats, leave something behind your driver’s seat. That way, you’ll have to check the whole car once over.

“We always recommend putting it behind your driver’s seat. Just because it’s harder to reach if it’s your driver’s seat. It forces you to get out of the vehicle, go to the back, and open that door.” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said even if you’re leaving the car for just a few minutes, to be sure to look in the back and take all children and pets with you. It will be much safer for them to be with you outside, than it will be in the car.

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