Leaving Your Child in the Car in Winter Can be Deadly Too

27322705_mWe’ve heard too many tragic stories of kids dying this summer after being left in a hot car. The danger doesn’t end as temperatures drop. Infants and young children should not be left unattended in cars any time of year. There is s till a risk of heat stroke, and well as hypothermia. Parents who try to avoid the danger of hypothermia by leaving the car running create a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and other accidents, such as power window entrapment. In some states it is against the law to leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even for a minute.

Hypothermia and Heat Stroke

Infants and young children develop hypothermia more easily than older children and adult, so there is a very real risk of hypothermia when they are left unattended in cars in cold weather.

However, many parents do not realize that the temperature inside of the car can still become dangerously hot even when it is cool outside. When temperatures dip into the 60’s or even 50’s, parents tend to overdress their children against the cold, adding to the risk of heatstroke as the car heats up inside.

Caron Monoxide Poisoning

Leaving a child in a running car can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Children are more susceptible to CO poisoning, and neither children nor adults can smell CO. Parents may not even notice that their children are suffering from CO poisoning until it is too late, thinking that it is just normal sleep. Better to take your child out in the most bitter winter weather than run the risk of CO poisoning.

Other Dangers

Of course, leaving babies and small children alone in the car poses a host of dangers that are unrelated to weather. Many cars can be put in gear without applying the brake and even if the car isn’t running. Power window and power seat entrapment can be fatal. Car thieves can take off with your car without realizing there is a child inside.


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