Last Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 1:19 p.m., Sylvester Police officers responded to the Family Dollar on Highway 82 in reference to children being left in an unattended vehicle. Upon arrival, officers found a one-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl strapped into a child safety seat in the back seat of the car.
The mother of the children was an employee at the Family Dollar and was inside working. The children had been left in the vehicle for over an hour with the windows down. The mother, Kendra Danielle Brown, was arrested and charged with two counts of Cruelty to Children in the second degree. Brown was taken to the Worth County Jail, and the children were turned over to family members by the Department of Family and Children services.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 25 children die every year from being left or becoming trapped in a hot vehicle. The article states, “Cars parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures up to 131-172 [degrees fahrenheit] when outside temperatures are 80-100 degrees.” The high last Wednesday was around 90 degrees.
Additionally, the report cited the Medical College of Wisconsin by stating,
“Children’s bodies have greater surface area to body mass ratio, so they absorb more heat on a hot day (and lose heat more rapidly on a cold day). Further, children have a considerably lower sweating capacity than adults, and so they are less able to dissipate body heat by evaporative sweating and cooling.”
A survey indicated that 25 percent of mothers admit to leaving their children unattended in cars at some point, and unlike Mrs. Brown in Sylvester, only one-third of the mothers claim to leave the windows half way or completely down. Most of the parents are more concerned with potential abductions than the risk of heat stroke.