May 13, 2011

Heat Stroke killing more children locked in cars

ENVIRONMENT - When you were little were you ever locked in a hot car while your parents' went into a store to run an errand?

Chances are likely you've been in that situation. Its an old mentality. Its not so bad if your parents at least park the car in the shade and/or give you a drink before running their errand.

These days however governments have taken a tougher stance against parents' who are negligent about their children and heat stroke.

In 2010 a record 49 children died in the United States after their parent(s) locked them in the hot stuffy car without anything to drink.

In the USA it is a misdemeanor charge to leave a child in a locked car on a hot day. If the child is injured or dies it becomes a felony.

The thing is however that we keep breaking heat records thanks to global warming and climate change. Thus the rise in children' deaths due to being locked in cars on hot days is just a sign of the times.

Part of it might also be Global Warning Denialism, parents' who don't believe global warming is real and thus don't take the heat stroke threat seriously.

But when it comes heat stroke statistics there is no doubt that the USA is getting hotter and hotter. The average car-related heat stroke deaths for children used to be 5 around 1990, but it has been going up steadily in recent years. The average for 2008-2010 was 42.

If that isn't proof global warming is a real threat then some parents out there need their heads knocked together in an effort to drill some sense into them. Perhaps the heat has addled their brains so they aren't thinking straight, it might explain why so many dull-witted people keep locking their kids in their cars. The symptoms of heat stroke include dizziness, confusion, headache, fatigue and forgetfulness. Extreme cases cause disorientation, strange behaviour and hallucinations.

In other words perfectly rational parents could easily make mistakes if they themselves are suffering from heat stroke without realizing it. The solution therefore is to always bring plenty of cold drinks for both you and your kids.

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