Baton Rouge doctors warning you about the risk of leaving children alone in hot cars

It’s already hot in south Louisiana, so it’s time to make sure we’re not leaving our little ones alone in hot cars.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 6:08 AM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 6:20 AM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s already hot in south Louisiana, so it’s time to make sure we’re not leaving our little ones alone in hot cars. First responders go to several situations every year and say even a few minutes inside a hot car can be dangerous.

Doctors urge you to be mindful of the heat, particularly in vehicles.

These temperatures can climb within a short time and lead to heat-related illness.

RELATED: As temps rise, Baton Rouge doctor offers tips to beat the heat

Dr. Benjamin Levron, with Baton Rouge General, said to never leave your child alone in the car, even if it’s for a minute. He said a car could heat up to 120 degrees in minutes.

Parents are busy, but you can create reminders by putting something in the back seat next to your child, like your purse, briefcase, or cell phone.

You can also set a calendar reminder on your phone to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare.

Levron said if you see a child alone in the car, see if you can help them unlock the door. Call 911 and get help as fast as possible if they’re unresponsive.

“It’s a risk whenever you’re leaving them unattended,” said Dr. Levron. “No child really should be left unattended in any place, right and especially not when they’re at more risk for injury through heat exposure. Heat injury is definitely something that we see a lot in Baton Rouge especially more in the summertime as the temperature heats up is occurring more frequently.”

The Louisiana Department of Health reported that 744 children have died in the United States from being left unattended in hot cars over the last two decades.

Officials want you to remember that cracking the windows or not parking in direct sunlight does not make your car cooler.

More than 70 percent of heatstroke deaths occur in children younger than 2.

More than half of those happen because a caregiver left the child in the car.

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