SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Much of Siouxland is under a heat advisory, and that means dangerous conditions for people outside. But things can turn deadly should someone get trapped inside a vehicle.
Officer Andrew Dutler with the Soiux City Police Department said many parents might be used to leaving their kids in cars for a short time during cooler months while running a quick errand—but this time of year, parents should think twice before doing so.
“It’s really not something that you should be doing any time of the year, but especially when it gets hot like this,” Dutler said.
Dutler says if you notice a child in an unattended vehicle, don’t hesitate to call 911.
“If you see a child who is unconscious, or having difficulty breathing…their eyes have rolled into the back of their head, or look like they’re having some sort of heat-related illness, then at that point, our dispatchers will more than likely give you permission to get that child out,” Dutler said.
“The last thing you want is to wait and ignore it, and pretend it’s not happening,” Dr. Jeffrey O’Tool with UnityPoint Health said.
Even with the windows slightly rolled down, the temperature inside a car can get up to twenty degrees hotter than it is outside within ten minutes of turning off the car.
That’s why Dr. O’Tool says if you rescue a child from being stuck inside a car, do what you can to cool them off immediately.
“Get them out of the sunlight, get them into a cooler area if you can—possibly offer some fluids if they’re alert enough to drink,” Dr. O’Tool said.
Both Dr. O’Tool and Dutler say there are preventative measures parents can take to keep kids safe.
“Our kids should feel empowered, and should know they should honk the horn if they’re in trouble. Bring the other parent with you, or a friend with you, and leave an adult in the running car with the air conditioning on with those children,” Dutler said.
“Oftentimes, we think we’re going to leave the car just for a minute, and time flies quite quickly, and things can go south pretty quickly,” Dr. O’Tool said.