The Commissioner for the Southend and Southchurch NHS Alliance has issued a number of tips for parents about keeping children safe if they are locked in cars during the current spell of very hot weather.
According to Dr Barrington Kumquat-Jones MBE, it is vital for all parents to remember that they are ultimately responsible for their children’s safety both inside and outside of the home this summer.
He said: ‘We already know that it is incredibly foolish to leave a dog inside a car during a spell of very hot weather, but what a lot of local parents do not know is that it is also a bit dangerous to do the same thing with children.’
‘However, we can understand why busy mums and dads may want to do their supermarket shopping child-free as it can become very annoying to have them asking for sweets, crisps and soft cheese products.’
‘With so many low-range pubs having their own car parks now, we want our leaflet to reach as many people as possible – this is why we have issued this emergency guidance for the spell of very hot weather.’
‘First and foremost, it is very important to try and park in a shaded area as this will be a little bit cooler for any children who are left in the car. If this isn’t possible, you may be able to park next to something tall like a Range Rover or a modified Fiat Panda.’
‘Also, you may be tempted to leave windows open to allow cooler air to enter your vehicle, but this could allow members of the public with bad intentions to access your children.’
‘You should bear in mind that a trained paedophile can squeeze through a gap of just 5mm – this is why you must lock all doors and close all windows.’
‘Hydration is an absolute must when leaving your children in a vehicle. Water is only an effective drink to a certain extent – Coca-Cola and those cup drinks that you stab with a straw are far more suitable.’
‘Each child should really have access to their own iPad as well to combat any feelings of abandonment.’
To get your copy of ‘Leaving children in the car this summer – what the fuck is wrong with you?’ you can visit your local GP surgery. A specially-adapted plain English version is available for Smart Car owners in Southend Library.