LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC)- It takes just minutes for a tragedy to happen. Last week, a Saint Martinville mom, forgot her five month old child was in her car when she went to work. That child become the latest to die in a hot car.
Charmain LeMaire, an ER Family Nurse Practitioner at Christus St. Patrick Hospital said, "When a child under goes heat exhaustion, their body temperature rises five times faster than that of an adult."
Whether it be a quick run into the store or simply forgetting a child is in the car, it could spell disaster for a family in a matter of minutes.
LeMaire continued, "When the temperature outside reaches 95 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle could reach up to 122 degrees in twenty minutes, and it could also reach up to 150 degrees in forty minutes."
I placed a thermometer in a car sitting in the sun at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon, when the temperature was roughly 95 degrees. In just, 15 minutes that temperature was up to a dangerous 116 degrees, and it doesn't take long for a child to feel the effects of the heat.
"They can develop problems with dehydration, seizures, and some of these things can result in death," said LeMaire.
If you spot a child left unattended in a hot car, you must take immediate action and call 911. There are also preventative measures that parents and caretakers can apply to remind themselves that they have a child in the back seat.
LeMaire stated, "For mothers you'll want to leave a diaper carrier or purse in the back seat along with the child to remind you when you take out your belongings your child is with you, and for dad's maybe leave your briefcase or a lunch back in the backseat of the car."
For more heat safety tips for you and your family click here.