It’s summer in Canada and along with the fun of enjoying beaches, outdoor swimming pools and patio season comes the danger of leaving children exposed to dangerous temperatures.
Already, there have been multiple cases across the country in which children have been reported to be trapped in stiflingly hot vehicles, including in Alberta.
READ MORE: What kind of person could forget a child in a hot car? Anyone, experts say
Warnings are issued every year about how dangerously hot the inside of vehicles can get every summer and most parents are aware and act accordingly. But there are other less talked about spaces which can become dangerously hot and pose a hazard for children as well.
READ MORE: The dangerous stroller mistake parents are making
Global News decided to set up a few locations in which you might find a child sleeping or hanging out in the summer and then see how hot the locations would get.
The locations we set up were: a car seat with a thin blanket cover in the sun, another car seat sitting in the shade, a stroller in direct sunlight, a shaded tent and the back seat of a vehicle.
We took our first temperature reading with an infrared and contact thermometer at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
After two hours, here’s what we found when we checked back at 1:30 p.m.:
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- the car seat with the cover shot up to 37.8 degrees Celsius after starting at 27.3 degrees Celsius
- the shaded seat rose only slightly from 24 degrees Celsius to 26.6 degrees Celsius
- the stroller, already hot at 51.9 degrees Celsius to start, rose to 56 degrees Celsius
- the back seat of the car rose to 42.6 degrees Celsius after starting at 32.5 degrees Celsius
Dr. Raphael Sharon, an Edmonton-based pediatrician, said generally speaking, the effect of the sun is at its worst between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. He warned parents should never leave a child alone in a vehicle or cover a seat with anything that prevents airflow. He also said there are a few steps parents can take to protect their children.
“I would stay away from the blankets, I would wear light clothing- only a single layer of clothing,” Sharon said. “They should also have a hat on.”
The Stollery Children’s Hospital told Global News its emergency department doesn’t see heat exhaustion very often and when they do, it’s usually mild symptoms such as dehydration or sunburn.
They said the number of people admitted this year has been fairly comparable to most years.
A hospital spokesperson said parents should limit their children’s exposure to the sun, have them drink lots of water and not confine children to hot spaces.
If a child is dehydrated – usually indicated by excessive thirst, no saliva, a confused mental state, vomiting or not urinating – parents should seek medical attention.
-With files from Laurel Gregory, Global News