For those of you who don't have the time or inclination to read the full article - let me share just 6 points of the article with you.
- Death by hyperthermia (when the body's temperature rises uncontrollably ) has happened to about 450 children in the United States since 1998.
- "It's reasonable to call this an epidemic," says memory expert David Diamond, Ph.D., a scientist at the Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, Florida, who is often consulted on such cases. "It happens, on average, once a week from spring to early fall."
- Depending on such factors as what color he's wearing and when he last drank something, an infant might die of hyperthermia in just 15 minutes on a 75-degree day
- Cooler weather is no guarantee of safety, either. Overly bundled babies -- warmly dressed and blanketed in their car seats -- have been known to succumb when outdoor temps were in the 60s or even 50s
- "People assume this is happening to bad parents, people who take drugs or use alcohol, maybe abusive parents," "I think people so want to distance themselves from ever thinking that this could happen to them that they really demonize or think these are bad people," Fennell says. "But the exact opposite is true. It's like 95 percent of the people this happens to are wonderful -- let me go so far as to say doting parents."
- These parents and other caregivers come from dozens of states and span the full spectrum of ethnic groups. They are rich, poor, and in between. Their jobs range from soldier to social worker, postal clerk to pediatrician.
Basically this is saying - IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. We all get busy, and sometimes our heads operate on 'auto-pilot' - when's the last time you drove all the way home, but didn't really remember taking any of the turns? When our schedule is messed with, when we are tired... We forget things. So, just remember, take precautions and remember where your kids are.