Avera Medical Minute: Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Cars - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Cars

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Here's a jaw dropper, every year for the last 10 years an average of 36 children died from hyperthermia after being left in cars.  Most of those were accidental, meaning you forgot the baby was even in the car, that's according to a study done at San Francisco State University.

We talked to a Parent Educator with Avera Children's Hospital and Clinic who has some sound tips to prevent this very preventable tragedy. When you are a first time mom like Lindsey Meyers there are a lot of changes to get used to. Middle of the night feedings for Finn, running errands with a 3 month old... and getting used to a new schedule before and after work. Believe it or not, that's when tragedy strikes. In the last 10 years, 371 children in this country died after being left in the car.

Avera Parent Educator Doniese Wilcox says, "Usually the accidental hyperthermia happens when the schedule changes. The person who usually drops the baby at daycare, the other parent does it or the grandma or somebody who's not used to it gets so distracted and it happens. Hyperthermia means the body temperature rises to a level that is dangerous."

Doniese says you should get in the habit of putting things you absolutely need to have at work like your briefcase, your purse or your name badge in the back seat by the car seat.. That way when you go back to get your briefcase you see oh the baby is still here and needs to go to day care...just another reminder.

Also put a stuff animal in the car seat. When the baby goes in there the stuffed animal goes in the front seat.

Monkey in the front, means baby in the back. It may seem so simple but can you imagine what it would do to your family if something so unthinkable happened?

Doniese says, "To think a tiny little infant just being left with no recourse no way to help themselves it would be devastating."

Most of the deaths happen with children age 3 and under and most of the time it's children younger than 1.  It may surprise you to know it doesn't have to be blazing hot outside.

Doniese says, "In a vehicle even in a day that is as cool as 70 degrees, if the sun is coming in at the correct angle that can heat the car very rapidly and that causes the baby's body temp to spike and cause injury and even death in a fairly short time."

All tips this new mom and her husband will do to make sure this continues to be the most joyous time of their lives.

Parent Educator Doniese Wilcox says it's also a good idea to have an agreement with your daycare provider. If you don't show up when you are supposed to, they call within 15 minutes  to see what happened and where you are.


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