NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — WIth warmer temperatures rising across the state, a warning to never leave kids inside a hot car. We hear from a local doctor who says he hopes his story serves as a cautionary tale to parents this summer.
A scary day for one local father. Dr. Vasanth Kainkaryam shared with News 8 what happened to his five-year-old who was with a family friend picking up his eldest child from school.
Dr. Kainkaryam says his daughter was left sleeping in the car while the family friend left the car to pick up the sibling. When the driver shut their door, the car locked automatically. Panic ensued.
“It was really hot, [so] she left the AC on and walked out of the car, closed the door on instinct, and then [it] auto locked.”
The child was safe and fast asleep, but the family friend couldn’t get back in.
Good Samaritans nearby jumped into action to help, trying to wake up the doctor’s daughter.
“Banging on the door, banging on the top of the car, and my daughter didn’t wake up.”
Luckily, South Windsor Police responded and ultimately had to smash the window to get the child out of the car. One crisis avoided, but now Dr. Kainkayam has a message for everyone at home:
“All it takes is for your habit to be broken. It takes someone else picking up your child or your child is usually away or fell asleep, any routine that is broken, this can happen to you…It doesn’t have to be that long, within 10 minutes the car temperature can go up 20 degrees.”
Experts say to avoid something tragic from happening to your family, try developing a new habit, whether it’s rolling down your car windows before you leave the car, or leaving something like your purse in the backseat so you don’t forget your kids inside.
“Another part of it is to create that habit so that in that pressure when you’re working fast or things are changing that this becomes instinctual.”
Hoping adults at home remember to always check the backseat and – worst-case scenario – call for help immediately.
“Every year up to 30 to 50 kids – so one in every nine days – a child dies from being left in the car…“Often times before you get to figure out the solution, it might be best to get help quicker.”
Dr. Kainkayam also says keeping your keys with you at all times is important in situations like this. He adds that taking a few extra seconds could mean the difference between life and death this summer.