The Howard County health officer reminds parents about the dangers of leaving kids in a hot car
No Children in Hot Cars
6:18 PM, Jun 21, 2010
11:46 AM, Jun 20, 2012
Columbia, MD - Under the hot sun, Brittney Green is taking on another busy day as a mother of two. She says the distractions will never be enough to forget about two-year-old Taliah and four-year-old Tianne, who are placed in her backseat.
"Your children are your main focus. They're more important than your job, they're more important than your life. Don't forget your child," Green said.
But some parents do forget, so Howard County Health Officer Dr. Peter Beilenson held a news conference to remind them about the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car. Dr. Beilenson says often parents aren't negligent, but they get out of their routine.
That was the situation last year in Ellicott City when a little girl was left inside a car for nine hours and died.
"They can't regulate their temperature as well as adults. Secondly, adults are much more able than a two year old or a four year old to get out of a car, drink cold liquids," said Dr. Beilenson.
At the Howard County Health Department, a thermometer was placed in a van and after just 20 minutes it reached 140 degrees.
Parents are advised to get in the habit of looking in their backseat every time they get out of their cars and to place something they normally take with them in the back, like a purse or cell phone as a reminder.
Maryland is one of 15 states that prohibits leaving a child unattended in a car, but the law is only a reinforcement.
"Maybe an adult can roll down the windows, but a child doesn't know how to do any of those things," said Michele Dustin, a mother of four.
The Howard County Health Department will place fliers at Howard County General Hospital, pediatrician offices, and child care centers.