How Parents Can Avoid a Heated Situation if Their Kid Gets Locked Inside a CarPosted:
CHAMPAIGN--It finally feels like summer outside, but inside a car, it feels even hotter. So if kids are left in a vehicle for long, the consequences could be deadly.
"Even if it's like 80 degrees outside, it will be about 130 degrees in the car," said Patty Metzler, the pediatric coordinator in Carle Foundation Hospital's Emergency Department.
Each year, an average of 40 children die in hot vehicles.
"Number one they can get dehydrated, which can cause death," said Metzler. "They can get hypothermia, which can cause death."
Authorities say avoiding that tragic accident starts before you leave your home, by grabbing a spare car key...And keeping it with you.
"Take a door lock key, and put it in your pocket," said David Ferber, deputy chief at the Champaign Fire Department.
If you do accidentally lock your car with your kid still inside and no spare key on you, authorities say to call 911 immediately and remain calm while you wait for them to respond.
Meanwhile, check around the car to make sure there aren't any other doors unlocked, and check inside to make sure your child still is conscious. Only if they don't should you resort to breaking a window, and if it comes to that, pick the one farthest away from them.
"Are they sleeping? Are they unconscious? Are they beat red? That all needs to be taken into consideration." said Ferber. "My absolute recommendation is don't break that window. Wait for the fire department to respond."
Because you don't want to risk further hurting your child with broken bits of glass.
The best suggestion is to develop habits that will help you steer clear of a heated situation altogether.
"Make your door the last one to close," said Ferber. "Because then it will never happen."