Imagine the horrors of a parent when he suddenly realizes that he has locked his child inside a car, on a very hot summer day. Every year thousands of cases are reporting from the months of April to September, where parents forget their children inside the car, and in some cases, the hot temperature causes their death. The term ‘hyperthermia’ is the medical term for the deaths caused by hot cars that typically kill young children.
Sometimes, young children, as well as elderly patients and some disabled individuals, are left alone in the parked cars and they die of a heat stroke. In the last 20 years, nearly 1000 children have lost their lives because of being locked inside the car.
According to medical experts, heatstroke hits a person when the body temperature of any person increases and crosses 104 degrees. In addition to being locked up, the failure to escape the car or by any means, unlocking the door increases the body heat faster than the normal human body. This forgotten baby syndrome mostly affects children below 14 years of age, who are too young to understand what is happening to them.
The term forgotten baby syndrome means a condition in which parents accidentally leave their young child or baby into a parked car and leave. In most cases it happens when parents are preoccupied with work stress, not sleeping well, or stressed.
There is no way to determine who is most likely to forget the child in a car. The forgotten baby syndrome can show up in everyone, with no discrimination of race, age, income, gender, and education level. More than a disease, it is just a forgetfulness caused by the absent-mindedness of a parent or during multitasking while driving around with a baby.
The parents who forget their children at the home don’t prefer taking help from daycare or any babysitter and carry their child along with them everywhere. They continue to drive, not paying much attention to have a baby in the back seat. This risk is highest when the child is sleeping, quiet or drowsy, unable to make a noise or notice what is happening around him.
Nearly 54% of these cases result in the death of children but there are many other ways as well which can cause the death of the child in a car. In some 28% of cases, children get into the cars without bringing it into the knowledge of the parents. Health experts suggest parents to ac watchful especially regarding their car keys and the activities of their children.
Although many people believe that the cases of the forgotten baby syndrome have increased over the last few years but it has actually reduced and the situation is much stable since 1998. Nearly 37 children lose their lives every year due to vehicular heatstroke. The highest number of these cases in the US are reported from Texas alone.
Before 1990, the risk of the forgotten baby syndrome was relatively low. This increase in deaths started to increase after 1990 when the traffic regulations were improvised, suggesting children to be seated in the backseat to avoid accidents and crashes.