Dangers of overheating kids in cars

By: Christy Dimond Email
By: Christy Dimond Email

Many parents are aware of the dangers of hypothermia with leaving their kids in the car during the winter, but parents must also be take precautions against hyperthermia.

Dr. Brian Kempton, MD, Medical Director for Community Hospital's emergency room, said kids left in running cars with the heat on are at risk for overheating.

"It could happen anytime you put the kids in the car with good intention that you'll only be gone for a minute but then that stretches and you lose track of time," Dr. Kempton said.

Already this year, an 18-month-old in Oklahoma was found dead after being left in her father's car with the heat running.

Dr. Kempton said it's a warning to all parents to never leave their kids in the car, under any condition.

"They're precious and we've had some incidents here in the area, up on the Mesa with those two kids, it's tragedy that just can't be quantified for that family," Dr. Kempton said.

KKCO 11 News reached out to Mesa County Sheriff's Office to ask whether overheating was involved with the case of the Jensen boys, who both died after being left in their mother's vehicle. Public Information Officer Heather Benjamin said the case remains sealed by a judge and under investigaion.

Dr. Kempton said it may only take the temperature inside of the car to get to mid-80's before overheating can occur.

"Unless there is some emergency where you have to leave them in the vehicle, it should not be done," said mom Catherine Sakala. "It's your kid and you should take them with you everywhere you go, there's no other excuses."

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