NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– A Groton man accused of leaving his 6-month-old baby in a hot car faced a judge. Police say 33-year-old Brian Pavao left his baby to shop for groceries. News 8 spoke to a doctor who broke down for us how dangerous it is to leave your children in the car.
Sitting in an air conditioned car, you can get the temperature to somewhere cool like 68 degrees, but just wait until you get out and leave that thermometer right in the car. It didn’t take long before that temperature to rise to unsafe levels.
“There were forty four cases of children dying in heated cars last year in the United States,” said Patrick McCormack, Uncas Health District.
Most were under one and most situations were unintentional. Thirty three-year-old Brian Pavao told police Tuesday he left his four month old daughter in the car when he went into this New London supermarket because he was texting and forgot her.
Police reports indicate “the infant was crying and was visibly wet from what appeared to be sweat” which means things could have turned much worse moments later in the 130 degree car.
“Once they stop sweating, once they go into that stage where they are unable to cool themselves efficiently within a matter of minutes, they can have a core temperature spike and can take them well up over a 104, 105 degrees,” said Dr. Richard Goulding, MD/Emergency Services, The William Backus Hospital.
And that could lead to heat stroke, seizures, and worse.
“You start to see failure of the cardiac system, you start to see failure of the pulmonary system,” said Goulding.
Injuries and deaths which are preventable.
“People are generally forgetting to check the back seat and it’s just an error on their part. So what we remind people is to be cautious and always check the back seat,” said McCormack.
Another way to keep children safe, if you’re walking by a car and you do notice a child inside, do what the people did here in this parking lot on Tuesday call police. Seconds often count.