With record heat approaching, officials warn of hot car dangers

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With record heat set to sweep across Southern California, officials are warning about hot car dangers.

As temperatures are forecasted to hit triple digits in Southern California, health officials are warning parents about leaving children inside hot cars.

Many parents echo the sentiment that they would never leave their child in an unattended car.

But while unthinkable, Dr. John Rodarte with Descanso Pediatrics-Huntington Health said parents can accidentally leave a child in a hot car.

"The car can heat up to 125 degrees in just 10 minutes. And you add on the heat wave that we're about to have and it can happen even faster," Rodarte warned.

Health officials said a child's body temperature can elevate very rapidly and cause heat stroke and death.

"It doesn't take a heat wave to have a child have heat stroke in a car," Rodarte explained. "It can happen if there's direct sunlight heating up that car and it could be 70 degrees outside."

According to Rodarte, 55 percent of the time parents do not intend to leave children in the backseat.

He said they're just preoccupied, tired or simply forget.

"Car seat is facing backwards. You don't even see the child. Often they will fall asleep when you're driving around," he said.

Rodarte offered simple strategies to keep children safe, such as putting cellphones, purses or briefcases next to the child's car seat so parents have to check the back.

He also said parents can leave a stuffed animal in the car seat. When a parent puts a child in the car seat, they should move the stuffed animal to the front seat.

That will help be a visual reminder for parents that a child is in the car.

"Anything that can get you into the routine of always checking that backseat," Rodarte said.

Related Topics:
healthhealthy livinghot carunattended childcar
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