Kids in cars: Expert warns parents about the risk amid rising temperatures

Consistently high temperatures in Eastern Carolina bring new dangers.
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 10:27 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Consistently high temperatures in Eastern Carolina bring new dangers.

Ellen Walston, the Safe Kids Pitt County coordinator for Vidant Medical Center, warns parents that leaving a child in a hot car for even a minute can be fatal.

She said this year alone, the country has lost five children that were left in the back of cars.

“The majority of the deaths that occur are for children under two, and most of those children can’t even verbalize if they’re too hot,” she said.

Sharmaine Wooten, a mother of seven in Greenville, understands that a parent’s life is full of distractions that can lead to an oversight like this.

“It’s very easy to leave your kids in the car,” she said. “One can be crying, one needs to be changed, one could be hungry, one could be gassy.”

While Walston suggests setting an alarm or putting your purse or wallet in the backseat to remember, Wooten said checking for everyone has simply become a habit.

“I learn to always look at the backseat. That was my last thing I looked at. Instead of looking to see if I had my keys, I looked to see if I had everybody,” she explained.

Kids aren’t the only ones threatened by the heat. Anyone going about their day in 90 to 100-degree weather is at risk of overheating or heat exhaustion.

“I run six days a week,” said Chris Loignon, the owner of Fleet Feet.

He runs early in the morning and stays hydrated to keep safe in these conditions.

“Try... to drink water every 30 minutes,” he said.

Copyright 2021 WITN. All rights reserved.