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Consequences for adults who leave kids in hot cars this summer

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Adults face consequences for leaving kids in hot cars

INDIANAPOLIS (June 26, 2014) – It doesn’t take long for tragedy to strike. Already this year 13 children have died nationwide as a result of being left in a hot car.

“Even just running into the store, temperature can rise in the car in 15 to 20 minutes and cracking the window doesn’t do enough to bring the temperature down, so
even that is dangerous for children,” said Dr. Stephanie Gardner, an emergency room physician with St. Vincent.

It’s a reminder that parents need to hear every summer: don’t leave your kids in a hot car, even if it’s just for a little while. The consequences can be deadly. Fortunately that wasn’t the outcome for an Indianapolis man who left his younger brother and sister in the car while he ran into the bank. Lamont Allen is now facing neglect charges after police found the children in the hot car drenched in sweat.

“You turn red, you get a little sweaty, they may complain of being thirsty and as it gets more severe they will become lethargic and sleepy. They may fall asleep
in the car, which you may think is just a nap time fall asleep in the car. But when they become difficult to arouse that would certainly be a concerning symptom,” said Gardner.

Gardner also advised parents to keep their car doors locked so kids can’t get in while they’re playing outside and get stuck in the hot car.

“Children are especially susceptible because they get trapped in the car and can’t get out, so even when they start having symptoms they’re not able to unlock
the car and call someone or let anyone know they’re having problems,” said Gardner.

These tips may sound like common sense, but even last year 43 kids died as a result of heat stroke.

“I can’t imagine. I feel bad for the parents at the same time. I can’t understand leaving your kids in the car but accidents do happen and they have to live with that mistake they made,” said Vanessa Tietje, a mother of two.