On an 85-degree day it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of your parked car to climb to 102 degrees. In 30 minutes, it can rise to 120 degrees. Leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle in extreme heat or cold is currently a criminal offense in 14 states and several municipalities. How many parents do this to their children?
A recipe of how to cook your child is unthinkable. There are about 40 cases each year involving parents that leave children in hot cars while they go on errands. These deliver lethal results. Thankfully, most parents remove children and use strollers.
Vehicular hyperthermia of children is a hot topic. It’s about how parents inadvertently learn how to cook their child. Every couple weeks the media advises that another child died after being left in a car at hot temperatures. The culprit is the loving parent. There are no books on how to cook your child. Yet it happens at a rate of about two per month. Not all cases are criminally negligent. Some are deemed as accidents. Are they? Perhaps parents need cognitive behavior modification to learn that babies need attention.
According to kidsandcars.org, there have been 17 heat related deaths in 2014 (as of July) due to kids being left in hot cars. It may seem insignificant but it is a rising trend. Parents may not realize it but this form of negligence is a way to cook your child.
Based on reported averages, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths. Is it intentional? I would hope not.
In most cases, a parent wants to stop at the supermarket for something and leaves the child in a safety seat in the car at a sunny mall parking lot. One thing leads to another. The parent may meet some friends at the market and hang and talk. Minutes turn to over an hour. Returning to the car, the child is unconscious from heatstroke symptoms.
38 children may die each year from this sort of behavior. How many survive? How many suffer permanent damage? According to the National Highway Safety Administration, more than 70 percent of heat stroke deaths occur in children younger than the age of two.
The danger of vehicular heatstroke may stem from a consequence of a child safety measure, the child safety seat. The child is comfortably restrained in the rear seat to prevent injuries in accidents. Prior to this trend, parents would unfold the stroller and bring kids with them. The child safety seat seems to help some parents believe that the kid is safe. The sweltering 90-degree temperatures may not even be considered. The result is overexposure to heat or vehicular hyperthermia.
Hyperthermia is an acute condition which occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. A core body temperature of 107° is considered lethal as cells are damaged and internal organs shut down. A child’s body may heat up to 3-times faster than an adult. What may be a slow, acute condition for adults could be a way to cook your child.
Compared to deaths by accidents from intoxicated driving, child vehicular hyperthermia may seem insignificant. It is very significant if you were the parents of one of the 600 children that died in the car.
Parents may be very loving and normally excellent care givers yet, more than half of all vehicular hyperthermia deaths occur because the child is forgotten.
Adults are creatures of habit. That’s why many people who commute by car each day may not remember how they actually arrived from point-a to point-b safely. Drivers minds often wander while driving, but attention to driving is on automatic cruise.
In the brain, a mid-brain structure, called the basal ganglia, helps support this habituation. The basal ganglia is involved in the enabling of practiced motor acts and in gating the initiation of voluntary movements by modulating motor programs stored in the m cortex and elsewhere in the brain. The normal things we might do during driving – Talking on a cell phone, or eating breakfast while at the wheel can cause a driver to forget the precious cargo safely seated in the back. This may infrequently lead to a skip step in the normal routine.
Some parents were supposed to drop the child off at daycare before going to work. By habit, they get to work and leave the child in the back seat. Negligence comes in as parents completely forget the child is there, under the hot sun.
There are certain mnemonic exercises that one can do to help re-habituate. One might be to keep your papers in a secure bag in the back seat, safely near the child seat.
Happily most parents do these exercises and remember their child. For those couple hundred a year that might not, or for those (about) 40 cases of death, this is a significant problem. Studies cite evidence that another part of the mid-brain can help retrain those parents to remember. The hippocampus is critical to learning and remembering relationships that characterize spatial layouts, and items in the particular context in which they have been experienced. Responsible parents must dis-habituate those behaviors learned from all those previous years. In the hippocampus emotion and memory are closely related. The parent must focus a positive emotion to the silent child in the secured safety seat to remember the child.
Tuning in to the hippocampus part of your brain, adds both time and memory concepts that your child is waiting for you in the car.
How to cook your child? To cook your child in a vehicle is stupid and irresponsible. It is like leaving a baby unattended near a swimming pool. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death among children under the age of 15. You are loving and raising a child that needs your attention to live and grow.
Deciding to expand your family through having children is an important act of love and responsibility. A baby depends on your wisdom and self-sacrifice. This often means putting the baby’s needs first. Should you be leaving your baby in a hot car while you do an errand? If you want to return to a cooked child, that’s the recipe. It’s a recipe for lethal abuse.
Having a baby is full of surprises, including many unplanned events. Parents must revise their lives in many ways. Texting by the pool can be a fatal act to your baby. When you go or drive anywhere, make certain you remember your precious baby. Never leave a baby alone and unattended. Use a stroller and cook something else instead.