Marisa Quinn, an office worker in Western Australia, sent in this bkrbzkyikz
article about whether you can leave your kid in the car even when just paying for “petrol,.” The article quotes an expert on child safety, Dr. Claire Wilkin, saying:
“Children can become distressed in a matter of minutes, or even less in the case of babies. Children’s bodies heat up to five times faster than an adult. Children cannot cope with high ambient temperatures as well as adults can, and severe illness can occur much more rapidly,” she said.
Severe illness? Like, what, polio? Malaria? She never says. Why specify when you can terrify with the mantra of our era —
.. And as Dr Wilkin explains, it only takes a few minutes for disaster to strike.
On a roll, Dr. Wilkin added:
“Due to the increased risk of fire at a petrol station, it is unsafe to leave a car running, therefore it is not possible to run the airconditioning to keep children cool. It is also not safe to leave children unattended in a running car even if strapped in restraints, regardless of the location, in case the hand brake were to release or the child was to climb out of the restraint. In addition, in hot weather or cold, if a fire or explosion were to occur in the petrol station, having a child harnessed into a child seat or baby capsule makes it very difficult to rescue them,” she said.
As Marissa, the reader who sent this in, notes:
…I think articles like this need to be more clear about how long children should be left alone for. I’m concerned about this growing trend that children need to be supervised every minute. I have a 19 month old and I often leave her to play by herself in the living room and I might be doing washing out the back or having a shower or watching TV in my room with the door open so I can hear.Constant supervision is not helping our children. We have to let them learn some independence at SOME point. We have to trust them to be alone at SOME point and know that they will be ok. I live in a country with high temperatures. I would not leave my child alone in a hot car even for five minutes. But on a cool day I would. What worries me about articles like this is that it encourages people to break into other peoples car to “rescue” kids for being alone. If a child is sweating and screaming and crying I would be fine with it – smash the window! sure! but that’s not the case most of the time….People think that any child by themselves is automatically in danger and that they HAVE to swoop in and “save” them and it worries and frustrates me so much. When did we go so crazy?