Heat wave and kids who abandoned cars: scale, danger and advice… 3 things to know about this pest

Every summer, in the midst of a heat wave, children are left alone in sweltering cars. La Dépêche du Midi returns in detail to this phenomenon and offers advice on how to avoid tragedy.

It is a phenomenon that keeps repeating itself. With every heat wave, different facts tell destiny Leaving the kids to figure out for themselves in the sweltering interior of the car. This Thursday, June 16 again, in Reethel (Ardennes), a mother left her four-month-old baby in a car in the parking lot of a supermarket, at 38°C: “The car was locked, the keys inside,” until the fire and rescue service explains in the Ardennes region. The car windows had to be smashed to help the child, who eventually escaped unharmed.

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The magnitude of the phenomenon, its seriousness and practical advice… Medidispatch make a point.

Widespread phenomenon

in France, It is difficult to define this phenomenon. When questioned, the Ministry of Interior confirmed that it did not have any data on this subject. to me United Statewhere such tragedies are also common, the statistics are more accurate: a study published two years ago by the Canadian Pediatric Society states that “37 children die of hyperthermia Inside parked cars every year in the United States.” In this country and in hot weather, a child dies every ten days due to this phenomenon and in most cases the child is forgotten inside the car (55% of cases).

This type of behavior is so widespread that in 2009, it was “Forgotten Child Syndrome” It was theorized by the scientific community, following the example of Françoise Petit: “To tell the truth, we do not know very well whether this ‘syndrome’ is that of a child to whom such a bad adventure has occurred, or that of a parent invaded by his anxieties, or indulging in his daily routine , or grappling with an unconscious desire to abandon,” the researcher writes.

Exponential temperature in cabin

In hot weather, the temperature rises very quickly inside the car. If the temperature is “only” 26 ° C outside, Mercury can reach 50°C Inside the car in just one hour. And contrary to popular belief, leaving a slightly ajar window does not slow this phenomenon down.

In the face of this constant rise in temperature, babies are very fragile. Their body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than the body temperature of an adult. In the overheated car, the child can seriously suffer Brain and kidney injuries In just 15 minutes. When the body temperature reaches 40 ° C, the organs stop working. at 41.6 °C, Death is almost inevitable For a child.

Common sense advice

It’s clear that she is Never leave a child unattended in a carEven for short periodAnd the Whatever the weatherEspecially if the outside temperature is high. In 2021 in Tours, the couple earned a Six months suspended and a fine of 1,000 euros for leaving their 3- and 5-year-olds locked in their car parked in the sun while running errands. The cops alerted passersby to release them after two hours of heat, luckily they came out alive but they are in poor condition as indicated. West of France.

It is also recommended Always close your car doors When you have parked it, to prevent a child from entering the passenger compartment in your absence and locking himself in it. Also, do not leave the keys inside the car.

If you see a child alone in a car that is too hot, “The instructions areAsk for help immediately : Firefighter at age 18 or SAMO at 15, refers to the Home Office. “Get him out of the car as soon as possible. you can broken car window If the situation calls for it and you think a child left alone in the car is showing signs of heat stroke,” the in-house website continues “The Law Protects You.”

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