Monday, November 20, 2017
Health

Yet another child has died after being left in a hot car; toll reaches 19 so far this year

RECOMMENDED READING


The federal government's top road safety agency marked a disturbing milestone this week.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 19 children have died this year in the United States after being left in hot cars. Two of those deaths have happened in Florida: a 1-year-old in Pinecrest in January and a 2-year-old in Brandon in February, according to the safety administration.

The latest case appears to involve an 11-month-old infant who died in a suburb of Chattanooga, Tenn., after the infant's father left him in the car for an unspecified amount of time, local media reported.

At least two children die per week in hot vehicles on average during the summer months, the National Safety Council says.

RELATED COVERAGE: What kind of person leaves a child in a hot car to die?

The process can be swift: In less than an hour, the temperature in a closed vehicle can climb to dangerous levels when it's no hotter than 70 degrees outside. Young children and infants are especially vulnerable to hyperthermia because the body's ability to regulate temperature isn't yet fully developed in children younger than 4.

The majority of children who die of heat-related complications from being inside a hot car were left there by parents who forgot about them. But a startling number — 17 percent -—died because they were left in those vehicles intentionally. Thirty-nine children died of heatstroke after being left in vehicles in 2016, up from 24 in the previous year, NHTSA reported. The agency didn't say why the increase might have occurred.

RELATED COVERAGE: 5 tips to help prevent leaving your child in a hot car

The incidence of children dying of hyperthermia began to climb in the 1990s when safety experts found that front-seat air bags posed a risk to small children and recommended that parents put their children in the back seat.

NHTSA, the National Safety Council and other organizations have tried to raise awareness of the dangers, with campaigns reminding motorists to "Look Before You Lock."

Rep. Ted Ryan, R-Ohio, has introduced legislation that would require automakers to equip vehicles with an alarm that would alert the driver if a child is left in the back seat after the car is turned off. The technology is available in some General Motors vehicles. The National Safety Council is also pushing innovations in car seat design that would use wireless technology to remind the driver when a child is in the rear seat after the vehicle has been turned off.

Comments

Owning dogs may be great for your heart and lower risk of death, study finds

Dog ownership correlates with lower rates of mortality and some fatal diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, a study published this past week concluded.The study in the journal Scientific Reports found that canine ownership was associated wit...
Published: 11/19/17
New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

Medical researchers and government health policymakers, a cautious lot, normally take pains to keep expectations modest when they’re discussing some new finding or treatment.They warn about studies’ limitations. They point out what isn’t known. They ...
Published: 11/17/17
BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

VALRICO — Health care officials broke ground Thursday on the long anticipated HealthHub at Bloomingdale, which will bring about 150 jobs to an area that’s experiencing tremendous growth and provide patients with the latest in technological care.A pro...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/19/17
In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

Despite the budget cuts, the attempts to repeal and replace, and reports of sharp rises in premiums, Floridians and other Americans are signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at record rates this year.Enrollment has surged 47 p...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Where did I leave my keys?As we age, it can take longer to answer a question like that.Humans begin to lose cognitive ability at age 25. Dementia, or the decline of memory most commonly seen in aging adults, takes hold early on and is gradual, but ac...
Published: 11/16/17
Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure Monday, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition earl...
Published: 11/13/17
Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

I had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios recently. It had been awhile. Regular Cheerios are more my thing. But sometimes I finish my box faster than my kids do and find myself straying to their side of the cupboard.Honey Nut is America’s best-selling break...
Published: 11/11/17
Owner of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg faces federal inquiry over funds for low-income patients

Owner of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg faces federal inquiry over funds for low-income patients

The corporate owner of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg could be facing a serious federal investigation related to its commitment to take care of St. Petersburg’s poorest residents.In its most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commiss...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/14/17
Father in New Tampa uses monkey Kookabuk to help young autism patients

Father in New Tampa uses monkey Kookabuk to help young autism patients

As a 7-year-old boy, Kevin Howard spent months in the hospital with a bone infection in his leg.A stuffed monkey named Kookabuk helped him make it through the scary experience."I was told he had magical powers," Howard said of the monkey, a gift from...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/19/17
Learn to practice gratitude year-round, not just on Thanksgiving

Learn to practice gratitude year-round, not just on Thanksgiving

Is it part of your Thanksgiving tradition to go around the dinner table and have everyone share one thing they are thankful for? The exercise reminds us that the day is about more than just turkey and pie. And, for those who take it seriously, it for...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/10/17