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John McKiggan Q.C.
John McKiggan Q.C.
Attorney • (902) 423-2050

Toddlers and Hot Cars Can Be a Deadly Combination

2 comments

Just last week, The Windsor Star reported that a mother left an eighteen-month old toddler and a five-month old infant locked in a car in a parking lot while mom shopping. The temperature that day reached 28 degrees Celsius (82 F).

Rescued by Good Samaritans

The children had been trapped in the car for about 20 minutes before Wendy Papineau and her friend Theresa Beneteau, noticed the children. They called police who were getting ready to break into the car when mom returned from her shopping excursion. Ambulance attendants reported that the infant’s temperature had reached 40 degrees Celsius (105 F) by the time the baby was rescued.

Hyperthermia (high body temperature) can cause brain damage or death at temperatures of 40C and above.

Astonishingly, the mother was not charged or reported to social services. Instead, the police gave her a “stern warning”.

While everyone can have momentary lapse of attention, it is difficult to see how this Mom could “forget” that she left her two children behind in the car. The consequences of leaving children alone in vehicles can be catastrophic, even fatal.

KidsAndCars.org has been working to raise public awareness about this issue. We have partnered with Kidsand Cars to bring the message to bring this important safety message to Canada. Take a look at KidsandCars.org – Canada.

Further Reading

Polic Need More Education – Dangers of Kids and Cars

Kids in Hot Cars: Criminal Charges or Better Education?

Halifax Regional School Board to Comply With Legislation to Make Children Safer on School Buses

Child Safety: Passerby Rescues Toddler in Sun Baked Car – Kids and Cars Canada

Conclusion

Summer is coming to Canada. While there is no guarantee what the weather is going to be like two things are certain:

  1. Temperatures are going to get warmer;
  2. Leaving children alone in cars is dangerous.

Let’s all help keep our children safe by raising awareness about the dangers of kids in cars.

2 Comments

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  1. C. Bennett says:
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    Thank you so much for posting this important information. I hope someone is following up on this; the officer should be taught that a child alone in a car is an emergency. He should also be made to apologize to the child so the child (and parent) knows he was correct in his action of calling 911. The child was right, the adults wrong. please let me know what follow-up has occurred. Thank you!

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    Thanks for posting. I agree the police need some more direction about these types of incidents. I do think they would take them more seriously if they understand that the children could easily have died if someone hadn’t found them and called 911.