BATON ROUGE – Chances are you have forgotten something in your life, whether that be keys, your wallet or an important date, but leaving child in your car is something most people think could never happen to them.
After a tragic event in Baton Rouge Wednesday leading to the death of an eight-month-old in a hot car, doctors say it often happens when there’s a change in routine.
“Maybe a different parent brings the child to school or a grandparent’s responsible or sleep-deprived parents just simply forget,” said Dr. Mindy Calandro with the Baton Rouge Clinic.
On Wednesday, with the sun shining temperatures reached 93 degrees outside. Inside a car, it can reach 110 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 20 minutes, only climbing from there.
Calandro says you shouldn’t leave your child alone in a car and just a few minutes can be dangerous, even deadly.
“It happens quickly,” she told News Two’s Brittany Weiss. “For a child, their body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than ours as adults do. Children can be over-heated quickly really within a matter of minutes.”
Doctors say sweating won’t cool down a young child in the same way it does an adult. Heat stroke sets in when body temperatures pass 104 degrees causing dizziness, disorientation and loss of consciousness, which can lead to brain damage or other organ damage, even death.
“We never think we would ever let that happen, we’d never forget our child, but as every parent knows, your mind can be in 10 different places at one time,” said Calandro.
There are ways to remember your child is in the back seat, especially if you’re not used to having a child in the car. Calandro suggest putting something of yours you need for the day in the backseat with the baby. That can be a briefcase, backpack, purse or even one of your shoes.