Local doctor discusses dangers of leaving children in hot cars

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police recently arrested and charged a woman for leaving her children in a hot car while she went shopping at Walmart.

According to Springfield police, people walking by noticed a 4 and 6-year-old in a car in the Springfield Walmart parking lot on Sunday. The children were crying but were able to open the car doors and get out safely.

Police later found the children’s mother inside the store with a full shopping cart. According to local doctors, it doesn’t take long for your car to become a deadly environment for children.

Dr. John O’Reilly of Baystate Health Pediatrics told 22News, “There is radiation energy from the sun that is absorbed in the car and the car becomes a convection oven. In as little as 10 minutes, a car can go up to 20 degrees.”

Dr. O’Reilly told 22News most children who die in hot cars are under two years of age because their bodies aren’t as efficient at releasing heat. Last year 52 children died from heatstroke after being left in a hot car, and most of the time it was simply because the parent forgot they were there.

The Springfield woman was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment to a child. Since this incident involved juveniles, police can’t release her name.

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