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Safe Kids Watauga County Reminds Residents not to Leave Children Unattended in Vehicles PDF Print
Written by Adam Hicks   
Friday, 17 July 2009 06:15

On a normal summer day in the High Country, the inside of a vehicle rises about 11 degrees per hour.  This poses an obvious threat to children who are left inside vehicles unattended.


Tammy Nelson, coordinator for Safe Kids Watauga County, had a display at Emergency Fest a few weeks ago that tested how hot it would get in a compact car with the windows rolled up in hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving children in vehicles.


Nelson said the core temperature for human beings should be between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and being exposed to extreme temperatures literally cooks our organs.


Nelson said a few things parents and caregivers can do to help remember that a child is in your vehicle is to always be aware of who you are traveling with and putting something in your vehicle to remind you that you have a child in the car, like putting a pacifier or a toy on the dashboard or in the front seat.


Nelson also said always lock your car doors when no one is occupying the vehicle because children can get in the car and lock themselves in.


Nelson said if you spot a child unattended in a vehicle, don’t call child services.  She explained, “Please don’t call your local department of social services or protective services because by the time they can report this and possibly get someone to that area, it may be to an area that they can’t help or they can’t get to someone.  Contact 911 if it is a real emergency and you do know that someone was left in a car.”


Nelson said she is working on getting signs placed throughout the community to remind drivers not to leave children unattended in vehicles.  Residents who would like to donate to have these signs manufactured or business owners who would like a sign in their parking lot can contact Safe Kids Watauga County at (828) 268-8955.


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