Khaleej Times - Do not leave your child in the vehicle, even if AC is on - Dr. Tomson Thomas

Locked cars are death trap for kids, warn UAE experts
Jasmine Al Kuttab/Abu Dhabi
Filed on September 6, 2017 | Last updated on September 6, 2017 at 05.37 pm

Do not leave your child in the vehicle, even if AC is on

Dr. Tomson Thomas, consultant - pediatric surgeon, Universal Hospital, said it can even be more dangerous for children left in vehicles that are left switched on, yet stationary.

"What often happens in the UAE is that parents assume it is safe to leave their children inside the car while the engine is running and the AC on, because of the heat."

He explained that small emissions of toxic gases could enter the cabin whenever the car is running and stationary. 
"This can cause extreme fatigue to the point were the child suddenly collapses."

"Even if the AC is running, the baby will still rapidly become dehydrated, because the size of the head is larger than the body."

Along with dehydration and heatstroke, the toxic gases can also lead to detrimental consequences and the child can quickly go into shock-mode.

"If an adult and a child are left inside the vehicle, the child will collapse in half the time, compared to the adult."

He explained that adults are able to adjust their bodies to different temperatures quickly, whereas children cannot.

Dr Thomas said a baby that was forgotten inside his parent's vehicle was recently admitted to the hospital, and although the baby did not collapse, he was drowsy and weak.

"When adults travel in heat they correct their dehydration by drinking water, but babies and children don't do this, because they don't know what to do - they just feel thirsty and go into shock."

He explained that the green house effect mechanism has much to do with how a vehicle can become a deathtrap for children.

"As the sunlight enters the car through the window it becomes trapped within the car, so the heat increases rapidly and it becomes fatal."

"Babies are often strapped in their child-seat and cannot move, wave their hands or call for help easily."