OK Mother Reminds Parents Not To Leave Kids In Hot Car

Monday, May 13th 2013, 7:54 pm
By: News 9

With the temperature rising, sometimes even the quickest errand can pose deadly effects. Last year, more than 30 children in the U.S. died after being left inside a hot car.

"Babies and cars for that period of time in that heat, they just don't survive," said Candace Bahr, a Tulsa mother of five who learned the hard way the damaging results of forgetting a child in the car.

Two summers ago, Bahr left her 4-month-old son Brennan in her truck while she went to a meeting. She was on the phone when she got out of her car and didn't realize she left her son locked in his car seat until one hour and a half later on a 100-degree day in July.

"And whenever I reached him, he was just really red and sweaty and labored breathing," said Bahr . "I ran him in to the place and just took off his clothes laid him on the cool tile floor to try to get him cold, and immediately called 911."

Brennan spent three days in the hospital before he fully recovered. Bahr says she still cannot believe after years of raising four other children she would leave her baby alone in a hot car.

"It was my worst nightmare," said Bahr. "I never would've imagined I would become another statistic."

Bahr shared her story at a safety seminar put on by AAA Oklahoma, Safe Kids and the Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center. Doctors and highway patrol officers spoke on the deadly effects of leaving kids in a hot car.

Dr. Robert Williams, an OU physician, says children's bodies absorb a lot of heat, and it doesn't take long for a child to start showing signs of heat illness, such as muscle soreness, vomiting, dizziness and dehydration. There has not been a child death after being left in a hot car since 2011.

Danial Karnes of AAA Oklahoma says a car's temperature can raise 19 degrees every 10 minutes, and after an hour, it is about 43 degrees hotter inside the car than outside.

Now, Bahr says keeps a reminder on her keychain, a long string that can attach to her son's car seat whenever he is in the car with her.

"There's no excuse for it but it can be prevented," said Bahr. "And that's the thing that I'm out here trying to do because my son's case was a miracle."