Northwest News

Vancouver officer: ‘Do you understand what you have done? Your children could have died.’

Regina Weir, coordinator of Safe Kids Metro Kansas City and Mother and Child Health Coalition in Kansas City was outside a drugstore in midtown Kansas City in June 2015 to raise awareness of heatstroke in children and educate parents, caregivers and the general public about ways to protect children from injury or death by being left alone in a hot vehicle.
Regina Weir, coordinator of Safe Kids Metro Kansas City and Mother and Child Health Coalition in Kansas City was outside a drugstore in midtown Kansas City in June 2015 to raise awareness of heatstroke in children and educate parents, caregivers and the general public about ways to protect children from injury or death by being left alone in a hot vehicle. tljungblad@kcstar.com

It doesn’t get all that hot in the Pacific Northwest most of the time, so we don’t have to worry as much about leaving kids or pets in a locked car, right? Absolutely wrong.

A video that has gone viral this week of a Vancouver (B.C.) Police Officer berating a mother accused of leaving her kids in a hot car on Monday at a grocery store on Grandview Highway should serve as a reminder that it can be just as dangerous up here in the land of clouds, rain and comfortable summer temperatures.

“Do you understand what you have done?” the officer asks the mother in the video. “Your children could have died.”

According to a heatstroke fact sheet provided by kidsandcars.org, children have died from heatstroke in cars in temperatures as low as 60 degrees. The fact sheet also says that a vehicle heats up very quickly, as 80 percent of the increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes, and that cracking the windows does not slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature.

So far in 2017, there have been 18 child vehicular heat stroke deaths nationally in 2017, and since 1998 there has been about one death every nine days.

According to noheatstroke.org, Washington state has had five child vehicular heat stroke deaths since 1998, though the most recent occurred in 2013.

For the record, the Ministry of Children and Families in now involved in the Vancouver case, after multiple people called 911 after noticing a 6-year-old girl and a 3 1/2-year-old boy locked in the car by themselves. Globalnews.ca reported the kids were both dehydrated and were treated on the scene but did not have to go to the hospital.

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