Friday 19 July 2013

The  stupidity  of  leaving s mall  children  and  babies  in  locked  cars

Locking your keys in the car is an inconvenience. Deliberately locking your kids in the car on a hot day is a matter of life or death and criminal.

It’s hard to believe that parents of small children and babies lock them in their locked cars on hot days while they go shopping. Do these dumbos do this because bringing their children and babies with them into the store is an inconvenience? Well, if they think that is an inconvenience, wait till they return to their cars and find their dead babies or dead children. It is then that they will face real inconvenience when they lose their other children to the child welfare authorities and are facing serious criminal charges to boot.
Now generally when a passerby sees a child or baby and even a pet in a locked car alone on a hot day, they will immediately go to their aid. However, on one occasion, the police refused to help get the child out of the car on a hot day.

On July 8th 2010, a Canadian mom who accidentally locked her toddler son in her car when she was picking him up from daycare expected police to rush to her aid. But when she called 911, the operator told her no one would come because it was against their policy to unlock doors for citizens who lock their keys in their cars. Then the operator hung up the phone.

Would they have come to the child’s aid if the child had passed out? Not likely. That is because as I said before, they don’t come to the aid of drivers who have accidentally locked themselves out of their cars.         

Chantal had accidentally locked the keys and her son in the car at around 3 p.m. as she was picking him up from daycare. The temperature was 32 degrees Celsius roughly 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In the end, CNews reported that the toddler spent 10 entire minutes in the hot car until his dad was able to come with a blanket and a hammer and bash a window of mom Chantal's Ford Escape to rescue their child.

What is disturbing is that the emergency officials have faulted the operator not for not sending help, but for not remaining on the line until the problem was resolved.

Perhaps it’s OK for the police to ignore people who accidentally locked themselves out of their cars to save money and thereby they can keep police officers on the streets to answer true emergencies, but when a child is inside the car, the police should act immediately to rescue the child because that is really a life and death emergency.
On 19 June 2013 in the town of Ulverston, Quebec, firefighters immediately came to the rescue of a child trapped in a locked car. They used hand tools to open the car and release the child. They recognized that it was a life and death emergency they were responding to.

Far too many children have died when parents or guardians left them unattended in cars. As summer’s heat rises, such neglect, in effect, is a death sentence to these mall children. A child locked inside a car even with the windows partly opened can perish in minutes on an especially hot day. And even if heat isn’t a factor, an unattended child can harm himself or herself in a vehicle, or can leave the car and wander off and get struck by an oncoming car.       
Despite these terrible risks that parents bring on their temporarily abandoned children, these parents will still walk away from their children. Their excuses are similar. “I was only going to be a few minutes in the store.” That excuse simply isn’t good enough.

Many times this happens because adults forget that their children are still in their locked cars.  They don’t knowingly leaving their child behind. They just lose track of the fact that the child is there, often because small children tend to be in the back seat and hopefully secured in a protective booster seat. If the child is a toddler or a baby and is in the booster seat, he or she can’t get out of the seat to open the door. For this reason, under no circumstance can forgetfulness be an excuse for what can be a fatal lapse in attention and judgment.

Leaving a small child in a locked car even when the temperature is not overly warm is still a criminal offence. The charge would be child endangerment or child neglect. The reason for this is that the child could be abducted or the child could be in the car when there is a tremendous accident in the immediate area and a large fire ensues and the child is trapped. Children in the past have been trapped in locked cars and burned to death in the fire that finally reached them.

A 35-year-old man in New Delhi was burned to death when his car caught fire. Rupinder Singh was in his car when it caught fire following a suspected short circuit at around 11:45 am. A passerby noticed the car ablaze and informed police. Due to the short circuit, the car got locked as it had a central locking system and Singh was trapped inside.

In June 2011, in New Orleans, a young woman, Genne Brummfeld agreed to take her friend’s three-year-old boy to day care but instead, she went to visit her mother, and left the small boy locked in her car for eight hours. The windows in the car were rolled up and the temperature outside was extremely warm. Experts said that the temperature inside the car went as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The child died in the car of course. Brummfeld was later charged by the police with child abuse. 

Forgetting that you have left a child in a locked car, especially when the windows are up and it is extremely hot outside is not excusable even when there is no attempt to bring harm to the child.

A Burbank, California mother of two was convicted in July 2013 of endangering her 2-year-old daughter by locking the child in a van in a Van Nuys parking lot as the temperature approached 95 degrees. Fortunately, the length of time in the car was short so the child survived. The mother said that she left the child in the car for 30 minutes because she didn`t want to wake her up. That is not a valid excuse.  The mother was ordered to continue taking her parenting classes as part of her probation.

Earlier this year, the city attorney's office successfully prosecuted another woman who left her daughter for about an hour in a locked station wagon in the parking lot of another Costco store in Canoga Park. In that case, the woman was sentenced in February to 200 hours of community service.

Mollie Shouse was sentenced to 35 years in prison in September 2012 after a jury found her guilty in August of murder. She was convicted of leaving her two-year-old son, Kenton Brown, in a hot car outside her Lyndon, Kentucky apartment in May of 2011. The boy died after suffering for many hours inside the car while the temperature slowly continued to rise. The fact that she was high on drugs after she left her son in the locked car is not a valid excuse of forgetfulness. The judge said that she chose to ingest drugs over the life of her son. The judge agreed with the jury`s recommendation of 35 years and passed that sentence onto her.

Despite the news stories reporting the deaths of small children left in locked cars during heat waves, there are still stupid people leaving small children in such cars. During this summer up to the time that this article was published in my blog, as many as 25 small children in the US who were locked in their cars with the windows up—have died.

Recently, a reporter with the Hamilton Spectator climbed into his car on a very hot day and rolled up the car`s windows. Outside the car was a team of paramedics who were keeping a close eye on him. They were monitoring his heart rate with an electrocardiogram. (ECG)                  

It was 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) outside his car. He discovered that the    temperature inside a closed car doesn’t so much rise slowly but instead it rockets upwards. The thermometer stopped working after about 15 minutes inside the oven that was his car, right after the air temperature climbed past 50 Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). That is extremely hot and to make matters worse, the humidex rose to a chart-topping 79. It was even too hot for the thermometers. My wife and many more people around us experienced those temperatures and that same humidex reading when we were in Luxor, Egypt right next to the Nile River while standing outside a temple. It was extremely hot. I convinced the tour guide that we needed immediate shade He agreed and we spent an hour in a nearby air-conditioned building cooling our body temperatures.

The Hamilton Spectator reporter had been assigned to answer the question: Just how hot does it get inside a stationary car sitting in the sun on a hot summer’s day? The answer is simple. It gets very hot and quite quickly.

When he sat down and closed the driver’s side door and rolled up the windows, shut the doors, and rolled up the windows (save for the ECG monitoring wires), it was 32C outside and about 5C hotter inside the car. But not for long.

Within 15 minutes, the big round dollar-store thermometer had maxed out at 50C. More crucially, the hand-held ‘instant read’ thermometer he was using to track his body temperature (a crucial measure of heat stroke) simply gave up since it couldn’t operate in that heat.

The sweat was beginning to form actual little streams and rivulets as it ran down his back, under his arms, off his forehead and cheeks. It was pooling in his eyebrows and then dropping suddenly in very small gushes that would briefly obscure his vision. The surface of his nose was so sweaty, his glasses kept sliding off.

But his heartbeat was steady and had not reached the level of an arrhythmia which is another sign of heat stroke. His blood pressure had risen only slightly. He stayed another five, ten twenty and finally thirty-five minutes before cooler heads prevailed. The plug was rhetorically pulled he finally left the car, drenched in sweat and dying for a drink of water.

Kristy Palmer and Lindsay Luna, the pair of primary care paramedics who had been watching him throughout, sat him down, handed him a bottle of water, stuck an ice pack in each armpit and rechecked his vitals. They quizzed him about dizziness, headaches, cramps, etc., before finally satisfying themselves that he was OK.

Four hours later after having a cold shower, his mouth still felt dry and the headache that came on two hours later began to subside. Age and medical conditions can play a huge part in how the body reacts since the very old and the very young don’t tolerate the heat as well people between those ages.

Two children have already died in Canada this year after being left in cars  and who knows how many pets. The reporter only spent 35 minutes in his closed-up car.  If he had stayed in the car for an hour, he probably would have died from heat stroke. No doubt there will be some children who die in the United States in this current heat wave which has struck 47 states with temperatures over 90 degrees

There are three stages of heat illness caused by heat exposure. They are—excessive sweating, fatigue, thirst and cramps in your arms and legs. Heat exhaustion causes dizziness, headaches, light-headedness and the victim’s skin is cool and moist. Heat stroke brings about a body temperature of 40C (104F), the skin hot and dry, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, racing heart, confusion, unconsciousness, seizures follow by death.

Over half a century ago on one very hot day while I was serving in the Canadian navy, I was on guard duty at one of the entrances to our base in Esquimalt, near Victoria, B.C. I was standing outside and after an hour or so, I began feeling faint. I called in saying that I was feeling faint while standing in the sun and was told to report to the hospital on the base immediately. I waited for two hours in the hospital before anyone put a thermometer in my mouth. That’s when panic by the medical staff occurred. The temperature of my body was 105 degrees Fahrenheit which is dangerously high. It may have been higher while I was standing in the sun.   

The body's normal temperature should be 37.5 C (99.5 F). This is the temperature at which the body can work best at. If the body temperature rises above 37.5c this is a condition called hyperthermia. It occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. Temperatures above 40 C (104 F) are life-threatening and needs treatment immediately. Fortunately I then got treatment even though it wasn’t immediate.  I was in the hospital for four days.

Health experts, advise avoiding the situations that lead to heat illness, so human beings need to be well-hydrated (water and fluids with electrolytes are best), We should also take whatever steps we can to avoid heat both indoors and in cars and most importantly, recognize the symptoms and react swiftly as they appear.

Here is some good advice for you. If you are a senior and your home doesn’t have air-conditioning, don’t stand in front of an open window with a fan blowing the hot air onto you.  If you fall asleep, you may never wake up. The reason for this is that you are slowly dehydrating and if you are asleep, you aren’t drinking the much needed fluids that will keep you hydrated.

And equally important, don’t, I repeat, don’t leave anyone in of a car when the windows are up and the doors are locked shut. Not only is it illegal, it can also be fatal for the person inside the car and that goes for pets also. Doing that is outright stupid and is deserving of severe punishment.

If you see someone or even a pet locked in such a car on a hot day and you can’t find the owner of the car in less than a minute, then smash a window and open a door and release the victim from the car. It is not illegal to do this.



1 comment:

msmariah said...

This is so frightening to me. I just had a baby. Both my husband and I are trying to be extra cautious. I read that it's best to leave your personal belongings in the backseat (a woman's purse or a man's hat) so you never accidentally forget. There have been so many parents who forget and think that they already dropped their child off.

I think one of the problems is that carseats now face backwards, making it easier for parents to forget.