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As temperatures soar, child safety is key

Thursday - 6/5/2014, 1:57am  ET

KID_IN_CAR.jpg
Kids' bodies heat up much more quickly than adults', and cars get hot very quickly even if it's not terribly hot outside. "There's no safe time to leave your child in the car," says Dr. Erik Schobitz. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- It's just the beginning of increased heat and humidity in the D.C. area, and as the temperatures rise this summer, children in cars at risk -- especially if they're left unattended.

"There's no safe time to leave your child in the car," Dr. Erik Schobitz, medical director of the pediatric emergency department at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, told WTOP on Wednesday. For instance, if it's 70 or 80 degrees outside, temperatures can quickly exceed 120 degrees inside vehicles.

So far this year, seven children have died in the United States after they were left in overheated cars; last year, 44 children died of heat stroke.

"Children don't have the mass that we do as adults, so they heat up five times as fast," Schobitz says. He says it's important to create reminders that your child is in the car.

It's equally important to watch your children at local swimming pools. It's easy for them to slip below the surface of the water. So if lifeguards are looking elsewhere, they might not see the child.

Lifeguards do a good job of protecting pools and beaches, but children's safety is ultimately the parents' responsibility.

Says Schobitz: "It's our job as parents to keep an eye on our children at all times."

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