Heat Warning: How Do You Forget A Child?

With much of Ontario, Canada, currently under a heat warning, there are those shocked by the fact that we just marked the first day of fall for 2017. Indeed, according to Time, September 22 at 4:02 p.m. was the official mark of the autumn equinox, yet a good lot of Ontario was under a heat warning as temperatures soared into the 40 C range once the humidex was considered. In addition, the heat warning is expected to continue for the next several hours, but whenever there is a heat warning, there is also a more troubling situation occurring, regardless of whether it’s a heat warning that occurs during the summer months or in the early part of fall.

People still leave children in cars when the weather is hot.

Certainly, there are many people with young children in their lives. It’s sort of the evolution of the natural course of many lives; people hit a certain age and decide that it is time to start a family, and that is great. However, having a family brings with it certain responsibilities, especially when severe weather is at play. When there is a heat warning, no one is safe in the outdoors for very long, and kids do not have the same understanding or ability to protect themselves as adults do.

There are some organizations that are exhorting people to exercise appropriate heat safety during the heat warning and warm weather.

According to a Global News report from the summer of 2015, it can take as little as 10 minutes for a car to warm to dangerously hot levels, regardless of whether there’s a heat warning in effect or not. Children lack the ability to cool off as quickly as adults do, and in fact, their body temperatures soar three to five times more quickly than those of adults. As anyone could imagine, that means serious health consequences for the littlest people in our lives.

KidsandCars.org reports that 37 children die as a result of heat stroke from being trapped inside a vehicle. It does not matter if there’s a heat warning in effect or not; if the car is parked in the sunlight and turned off, the temperature inside that vehicle can jump by as much as 8 C or more in 10 minutes, which can lead to serious consequences for a kid who is not able to undo their seat belt and get out of the car without assistance.

In an image taken August 17, 2012, Alexandria Fire and EMS officials demonstrated the dangers of leaving children in hot vehicles during the launch for the ‘Look Before You Lock’ campaign. [Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Parenting is a busy job. When you are a parent, you are constantly on the job, with little to no downtime. People need to be fed, bums need to be wiped, and people need to be taken to appointments and activities. It is very easy to forget something in the day to day process of being a parent, whether it is paperwork or keys or sunglasses. However, it is difficult to forget about a small human being in the back seat of your vehicle, regardless of whether or not they might be sleeping.

No one is immune from making a mistake, and a heat warning only serves to make some individuals feel as though their brains are operating through molasses. A mistake is one thing. Yet, forgetting a child that you gave birth to or even chose to take responsibility for in other circumstances is quite another matter, and regardless of how busy we are, we have to take a moment to breathe in our busy lives and ensure that everyone stays safe in this heat warning that has gripped some of us.

[Feature Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

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