Children being left alone in vehicles is on the incline, and the Lloydminster RCMP are asking parents and guardians to not leave their children alone in cars while running errands.
Since May 1, of this year, the local RCMP detachment have responded to over 14 calls of children being left in vehicles unattended.
Cst. Grant Kirzinger said in an interview with the Source, that the amount of calls that the RCMP get when it comes to children left in cars, is more than they ever want to see.
“We want that number to be as close to zero as possible, so for us 14 is too many,” he said. “The thing that we really want to focus on is the increased number of children being left in cars over the last few weeks.
That concern is due to the rising heat outside, and with that, Kirzinger said that the RCMP have become more diligent on checking vehicles.
Leaving a child in a vehicle unattended can be extremely dangerous, according to Kirzinger, who said that leaving a child in a vehicle on a hot day can cause heat exhaustion, and stroke.
“There is a wide range of things that children can experience, from heat exhaustion, to heat stroke, all the way to some cases, and they are rare cases, death,” said Kirzinger.
“What happens is the exhaustion and stroke progress so far that the core temperature in the body heats up and it causes great problems for the children, particularly for smaller children and infants.”
Kirzinger said that smaller children don’t have the ability to remove clothing and find shade.
“They don’t have the ability to remove themselves from car seats either. Little children are more susceptible to these things,” he said.
They also don’t have a lot of water in their bodies, which can cause dehydration than with an adult. Parents can get easily distracted when not with children while running errands, and can cause the child to be left in a vehicle longer, according to Kirzinger.
“Sometimes parents believe that they have a quick errand to do, they have to go inside their house, a store, and run back out quickly, sometimes this is the case and they can do that,” he said. “But sometimes parents say that their child is asleep and don’t want to wake them.
“Most of the time, parents believe that they won’t be in for an extended period of time. There might be lineups, you might remember that you might have to do something else or find it difficult to find something.
“So, we just encourage a parent or caregiver not leave your children in vehicles for an extended period of time.”
If you come across a child unattended in a vehicle, Kirzinger said that calling the RCMP is a good step.
“We do encourage people to do that, if people have reason to believe or fear that a child is in danger,” he said. “We at the RCMP want to ensure that children are looked after at all times, especially when they are younger. Being left alone inside a vehicle can be dangerous and they could be playing with toys or they could be playing with something in the vehicle and choke.”
The RCMP would like to encourage people to take their children with them in the stores, or places where they are stopping, no matter how long they plan on being inside that location, Kirzinger said.
“A few minutes without your children inside somewhere isn’t worth the potential consequences and risks,” he said.