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What should you do if a child is trapped in a car?

What should you do if a child is trapped in a car?

11/08/2017

If it is 25 degrees outside, a child can suffer heat stroke after being inside the vehicle for only 10 minutes. Therefore it is crucial to react quickly and correctly if we see a child trapped inside a car. However, despite the consequences, and despite the campaigns held year in year out, every summer cases such as these occur.

Here is why you should not leave a child alone in a car:

As outlined in the ‘Report on heat stroke in childhood’ (Spanish), by Fundación MAPFRE:

  • The first thing you should do is check that the child is responsive.
  • Next, call 112, the emergency line for all of the European Union.
  • After this, you must get inside the vehicle. You must not, however, hurt the child in doing so. Therefore, if you have to break a window, ask the child to move to the other side of the vehicle. For example, if the child is seated on the rear seat on the right hand side, behind the passenger seat, the safest option for the child is if you break the driver's front window.
  • You should then take the child out of the car with great care so that they do not cut themselves.

If the child is suffering from heat stroke...

  • If the child is still conscious, place the child on his or her back in a cool area. Loosen their clothing and place cool flannels on them but (not ice) and offer them water or some kind of isotonic drink such as a rehydration solution.
  • As soon as the child recovers he or should must be taken to a health care centre to be examined by a doctor.
  • If the child is inconscious, call 061 or 112 again. If the child is not breathing, you must perform basic CPR for children.
  • Even if the child has recovered, they should be taken to a health care centre in order to have a medical check-up.
  • The child should not be submerged in frozen water, as the contrast can be extremely dangerous. We do not advise using rubbing alcohol either, given that the alcohol can be absorbed through the skin and can cause alcoholic poisoning.


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