SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The DCI continues its investigation into a toddler’s death in Clark, which police have classified as a hot car death.
The young child was found dead inside a vehicle around 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. The high temperature in Clark that day was 90 degrees.
It’s a tragic and timely reminder of the dangers of children being left in vehicles, even this fall.
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare when the temperature soars.
“Especially on really hot days, but it really can be even on cooler days. Even 50 and 60 degree days, vehicles tend to heat up incredibly fast,” Nancy Raether, supervisor of community programs for the Sanford Children’s Child Service, said.
Raether took time to show us how quickly the temperature changes.
“It just really shows how big of a difference the temperature can be between what’s inside your car and what’s outside your car. And today’s a pretty warm day, it didn’t take very long for our vehicle to heat up at least 15-20 degrees,” she said.
When it comes to children, Raether says their bodies heat up about three to five times faster than adults.
“Even five to ten minutes, it can increase anywhere from 10-20 degrees, and so that young child’s body already not being able to handle heat extremes, and then when you have that hot car that combination is very, very dangerous,” she said.
Raether says a good tip for parents is to leave something like a phone, wallet or purse in the back seat to get in the habit of checking before you leave the vehicle.
“Leave that in the back seat so you know for sure you would be opening that door and taking a look in the back seat,” she said.
Sanford Children’s Child Services says there is never a good time to leave kids unattended in the vehicle regardless of how long they are there or the temperature outside.