Friday, July 06, 2007

Would You Put Your Child in an Oven?

Today, I got really upset and angry.
I came out of the grocery store, Extra Foods, returning to my van with my bags of food. As I passed the car beside mine, I noticed a little girl, who was maybe three years old at the most. She was locked in this red Toyota Tercel along with a cute brown dog. Windows rolled up tight. Today our temperature was reported to be 24 degrees Celcius. Now that is the shade temperature. In direct sun, on tarmac, that figure greatly increases. I was so furious that someone would put their child at such a risk to save themselves the hassel of taking her in to the store with them. I don't care what the excuse is.
With the heat and potential for child snatching. A cute little blonde girl left unattended is a potential target in any weather! Remember that little Madelaine in Portugal? So I called the police. I gave the license number and described the car. As I was speaking to them, the child managed to open the window a crack. Poor little thing. Finally the mother came to the car, all excitedly showing the little girl the new shoes she had bought her. I called over to her and said "Excuse me, but don't you think it is rather warm to leave a child and a dog in a closed vehicle?" Well, she didn't bat an eye! She gave me a dirty look and said her window is open. I said "I've been standing here ten minutes, she just opened it now, besides in this heat, an inch open won't make any differance." I was saying this very politely, after all the police were overhearing all this over my cell phone! She drove off and the police assured me they would be contacting her.
Am I just a nosey old dingbat? I was so furious at the complete lack of concern this woman showed. Hopefully, she will think twice about doing this again. The following is some information from the National Safe Kids and General Motors!

Would you put your child in an oven?Charles Ofria
According to The National Safe Kids Campaign and General Motors, that is exactly what some parents do when they leave their child unattended in a car while they go off and run some errands. From 1996 through 2000, more than 120 children died from heat stroke because they were left in a vehicle by normally caring and well-intentioned parents or caregivers. More than 90 percent of these children were age three and younger.
Harried parents often believe that they can safely leave a child for a few minutes while they run to do a quick errand. In the real world however, delays are a fact of life and even a delay of a few minutes can spell disaster for a small child trapped in a closed car..
Some people don't realize that, even on a mild day with temperatures in the 70's, the interior of a vehicle can quickly rise to temperatures of 120 degrees or more. At 80 degrees outside temperature on a sunny day, an air conditioned interior that is 70 degrees when the vehicle is shut off, will reach better than 90 degrees in about 10 minutes, 120 degrees in 30 minutes and shoot past 130 degrees in an hour. GM has been doing extensive research on this problem. One of the things that it discovered is that cracking a window opened is of little help.
On April 26, 2001, GM announced that it will be developing a system that will actually detect an infant in a closed vehicle through a very sensitive motion detector built into the vehicle's headliner. This sensor will see movement as small as a sleeping baby's breathing, and sound an alarm if the interior temperature rises to unsafe levels. As an added benefit, this system will also work for pets that are left in a dangerously hot car. The details of this system are still in the developmental stages, but it is expected that GM will have a product available by 2004.
Some of the ideas that are being tossed around are to integrate this sensor with the vehicle's security system in order to reduce costs. This would perhaps allow the system to detect an intruder lurking in the back seat and warn you as you approach the vehicle, perhaps by sending a signal to your remote transmitter.
GM has said that it will freely share their research with other manufacturers that are interested, but all the gadgets in the world are not going to insure your kids safety. That job rests squarely in the hands of you, the parents.
Keep your kids safe by following these simple rules:
Teach children not to play in, or around cars.
Never leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle, even with a window slightly open.
Always lock your doors and trunk -- even at home -- and keep keys out of children's reach.
Watch children closely around cars, particularly when loading and unloading. Check to ensure that all children are accounted for when you leave the vehicle. Don't overlook sleeping infants.
Secure children in the rear seat in approved car seats. Use booster seats for larger children.
If you own a 1990 or later GM vehicle, see if you can have it equipped with a trap resistant trunk kit at your nearest dealer
When restraining children in a car that has been parked in the heat, check to make sure that seating surfaces and equipment (car seat and seat belt buckles) are not overly hot.

Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake

A Message from the Humane Society of the United States
General Motors
Notice: The information on this site is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a professional who is qualified to examine, diagnose and repair your vehicle.
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Jack's Shack said...

You did the right thing.

Dina said...

you did right. I would have done the same too and would NEVER leave my children in the car even if i stop for 5 minutes no way I lock up and the kids come with me. Better safe and it takes me 20 minute to shop than sorry .

deni said...

Who does something like that? That's like passing a death sentence on a child. I would have called the police too.

You did good.

canuckabilly said...

Good for you! I would have done the same thing. People like that shouldn't have pets or kids. I bet the second she walked out of the store she probably said to herself..."geez it's hot out here".

Anyway I'm proud of you and you enjoy your weekend.

Bobbie - said...

Grrrrrr!! It must have been like an oven in that car! You did the right thing, and I hope the RCMP do something about it too. I'm glad you stayed by the car with the little girl - who knows what could have happened!

Bobbie - said...

I just wanted to add this...a 15 month old boy died in Orofino, Idaho yesterday after being left alone in an SUV for FIVE hours. Apparently the step-grandmother "forgot" he was in the car.§ion_id=561&story_id=12576

GeekieChick said...

I agree! You absolutely did the right thing. I would have called the police, too. It's just a shame they didn't get there before she came out of the store. It's horrific!! ...really pathetic person to do such a cruel thing.

I live in Texas, and leaving a child or animal in a car is illegal. We've had that happen several times here. And it's such a sad shame when a child is "forgotten" or left in a car for "just a few minutes." It only takes a few minutes for little ones to be irreparably damaged or worse...

Josie said...

Bravo...! You did the right thing. I admire someone who has the guts to do the right thing. Isn't it illegal in British Columbia to leave a child unattended in a car? There's a mother who needs some parenting lessons, and hopefully now she will get them.

I would have called the police too. Good for you!

Penny Halston said...

Good for you. There is no excuse for leaving a person or other living creature in a car on a hot day. Furthermore, no one should leave a child unattended at any time. I hope this mother realizes the dangers and thinks twice the next time.

Sienna said...

Well I love you!!

You abso-bloody-lutely did the right thing and god bless you!

Here in Oz (anything from 36c to 47c) over our summers young children and animals lose their lives every summer. (Left unattended in cars).

The thing is it should never ever happen....just inconceivable eh, but it happens....great post Susan, great blogpost!

Adverts advising people to the dangers (animal and children) are being shown here, but nowhere near enough, we just keep lobbying.


deni said...

Thank you, Susan for your prayers!


Walker said...

You did what any resposable person would.
Some people aren't fit to be parents or pet owners.

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

I would break the car window to serve the person right

Monica said...

Knock off knocking yourself over this, Susan. You were NOT a nosy dingbat. I believe you did the right thing and I do hope the police pay her a visit. And I am glad you had the gumption to call her over because otherwise, next time, maybe she would have been the next Madeline in Portugal or dead from heat.

No, you're a hero, kiddo. And Mom is lucky the little one isn't wearing those new shoes in a casket.

Canadian flake said...

Wtg and good job. You most definitely did the right thing. I am sure there are laws against leaving your child unattended in a vehicle. If not, there certainly SHOULD be. WTG again.

sharon said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who kicks up a fuss about things like that! This post inspires me to post about a similar experience I had once. Good for you for sticking up for this child and dog who have no voice in matters like this!

chosha said...

Bravo for calling the cops! You might have saved that kid's life, if a visit from them stops the negligent mother from leaving her locked in the car like that again. There is so much information around now about how dangerous it is and how fast the temperature rises in a locked car, there's no excuse for doing it.

Anonymous said...