Category Archives: Heatstroke

KS Steps Up For Children In Hot Vehicles

.jpg photo of director of kidsandcars.org shows how to break glass and save child from hot vehicle
Amber Rollins, director of KidsAndCars.org, demonstrates how to safely break a window using a device, the Resqme emergency window breaker and seat belt cutter.

Kansas removes lawsuit fear for rescuers of
children, pets trapped in hot cars

Beginning Sunday, good Samaritans in Kansas won’t have to think about getting sued for busting out the window of a hot car to save a child or pet trapped inside.

A new state law underscores that lives are more important than property when it comes to hot cars.  Kansas joins 18 states — including Missouri — in giving rescuers legal immunity when they believe a person or a pet is in imminent danger.  Two additional states have laws protecting pets only.

Amber Rollins, director of the non-profit Kids and Cars, on Monday demonstrated how a simple device can in seconds shatter the window of a locked vehicle, making rescue possible.  Rollins used a disabled SUV at the 129 Auto Parts salvage lot in Spring Hill, Kansas.

A hand-held, spring-loaded device called “resqme” was the only tool she needed.  It must be used on a side window because windshields and rear windows are made to not shatter.  The device, which shoots a metal pin at the glass, should be applied to a corner of a side window.  Applying it to the center of the window will not work.

The tool “resqme” can be ordered from kidsandcars.org for $7.50.

Regular nail punches available at hardware stores can also be used.  In fact, Johnson County MedAct units each carry nail punches. A crowbar or stone or any other implement also can be used.

Some things to consider when busting out a window:

  • First check to see if the vehicle is locked. Obviously, if it is not the window does not need to be broken.
  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Use appropriate force against a side window furthest away from the child or animal inside as the glass can fly.
  • Get the victim to a cool place, remove clothing and apply water.
  • Stay until emergency responders arrive.

In addition to Kids and Cars, the Kansas law was championed by Safe Kids Kansas and the Humane Society Legislative Fund of Kansas.

Although Kids and Cars is not aware of any case in which a rescuer was later sued for causing property damage to a vehicle, Rollins pointed to a New Mexico hot-car death in which two witnesses told police they saw the victim in distress but did not act.

Rollins keeps two resqmes handy.  One is attached to the driver’s seat belt of her car so it will be immediately available to use in escaping if the vehicle becomes submerged in water.  The resqme also has a blade to cut the seat belt if necessary.

Rollins keeps her other resqme on her key ring in case she notices a vulnerable child or pet in a hot car.

“A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult,” said Cherie Sage, state coordinator for Safe Kids Kansas.  “Their developing bodies are not as efficient at regulating their temperature.  When a child’s internal temperature reaches 104 degrees major organs begin to shut down.  And when that child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees that child can die.”

During Monday’s demonstration, the outside temperature was in the low 80s but the temperature inside the SUV was over 100 degrees.  The air inside a vehicle can jump that much in a matter of minutes, even if the windows are partially open, because the windshield has a greenhouse effect.

There have been 18 child deaths in hot cars in the United States so far this year, about par with the average of 37 a year.  But there are three other suspected cases this year awaiting autopsy results.

In most cases the parent did not know or simply forgot that their child was in the back seat.

Kids and Cars suggests that parents make a habit of putting their smart phones in the back seat so they will have to go there to retrieve them.  Another idea is to keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and move it to the front seat when a child is strapped in to serve as a visible reminder for the parent.

Hot Vehicle Claims First Child In 2018

.jpg photo of vehicular heatstroke graphic
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

Family Of 1-Year-Old Who Died In Hot Car Had No DCF History

#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

MIAMI, FL  –  The Department of Children and Families says the family of a 1-year-old who died after being left in a hot car had no history with the child welfare system.

The department has opened a child protective investigation but says all details remain confidential.

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll did release a statement saying,

“My heart goes out to this family who have lost a precious child.  It is easy to assume this could never happen to you, but time and time again I see caregivers who let themselves slip into a routine when transporting children and make a fatal mistake when that routine is disrupted.  More than half of all child deaths from hot cars are the result of a parent inadvertently leaving the child in their car..”

The case prompted strong words from Miami-Dade Police spokesman, Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.

He told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “This is something that we, in society, cannot allow to continue to happen.  The precious cargo in your car is a child and there is no way that we as parents can forget the precious child in your car. This is happening way too often.”

“No matter how hectic our schedule is, no matter how fast paced our lives are, we can not allow our kids to be put in danger,” said Zabaleta.  “We just need to learn how to slow down and concentrate on what we are doing.”

The 1-year-old boy was apparently forgotten in the car Wednesday at a strip mall near Bird Road and 97th Avenue.

The baby’s mother works at a beauty salon in the mall, according to witnesses. They said she was not supposed to work on Wednesday but came in on her day off.

She reportedly came to work at the Forever Young Spa around 9 a.m., parked the car in the back and, at about 12:30 p.m., they heard loud screams and commotion when she found her child.

The baby was a transported to Kendall Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It was a hot day Wednesday with temperatures in the mid-80s.  Temperatures inside the car could’ve reached up to 100°.

Witnesses said the mother was devastated and screaming.  She said something along the lines of because of work – this happened.

At this time, it is unclear if there will be any charges related to this incident. Zabaleta said the case is being referred to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office.  Witnesses said police have recovered surveillance tape from the scene but it is not being released.

A friend of the family said that family members were too upset to say anything right now.

At the salon, customers said they were upset after hearing the news.

“I can’t imagine anything like this happening,” said Cathy O’Sullivan, who also has children.

Another customer, Shanin Alvarez, said, “This is such a sad story to hear this.  I don’t know what happened, if she was distracted or if she is a first-time mother.”

Customer Lidia Gutierrez said, “It is horrible.  It is just so sad.”  Her friend and another customer, Iala Isarque, said, “I just really have no words to say.”

Following the incident, Carroll did ask parents to find a safety strategy that works for them, suggesting the following:

  • Be sure to check the back seat every time you leave the vehicle.
  • Put your purse, briefcase, lunch, etc. in the backseat so you are sure to look before you lock the door.
  • Do not let your children play near vehicles; they may accidentally lock themselves in.
  • If there is a change in plans and someone else is dropping your kids off, have them call you at drop off so you know everyone made it safely.

For more information on tips to hot car preventions, click here.

Heatstroke

On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles.  Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.

KIDSANDCARS.org