Beat the heat, check the back seat

For many years, I have been informing the public about the importance of making sure you check your cars for unattended children and pets. So far this year there have been 11 child deaths in the United States due to children being forgotten by adults, or they were playing in cars and unattended by an adult. The latest victim was a 3-month-old girl on June 8 from Rose Hill. Our prayers to the family.

This is a very serious situation and with hotter temperatures coming our way, please make sure to check and double check your vehicle every time! A child is more susceptible to heat than an adult. Just because we do not feel the effects of the heat doesn’t mean our children aren’t suffering.

Less than 10 minutes is all the time it takes for the inside of a car to reach deadly temperatures. Heatstroke can occur in temperatures less than 57 degrees. The inside of a car can absorb enough heat within minutes to make temperatures deadly, especially for infants.

In most cases of child deaths in cars, the child was forgotten by the parent or caregiver. In approximately 30 percent of child deaths, children were playing in vehicles unattended. An even sadder statistic is that almost 20 percent of the children were intentionally left in the vehicle by an adult.

Be aware of the signs of heatstroke: confusion; grouchy or irritable; nauseous; red, hot and moist, or dry skin; no sweating; throbbing headache; and dizziness.

I am asking that the public remain aware and vigilant to help prevent these tragedies from happening. Please be aware when you are in parking lots, garages or anywhere else vehicles may be parked for any small children or pets that may have been left unattended. Notify law enforcement at once if you do see a child or pet in distress.

Also, remember our elderly friends and neighbors and those with medical issues, especially with higher temperatures. If you have outside pets, adequate shade, shelter, food and especially water is a must.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We appreciate you all for partnering with us for the safety of our community.

John Merchant20 Posts

John Merchant currently serves as Brown County (Kansas) Sheriff.

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