Tampa, Florida -- Police say Vita Abramenkova left her baby in her car for 40 minutes with the A/C on low as she shopped at the Pinellas Park Target on Monday.
A shopper saw the little girl and got her out. The mom's under arrest and the girl's expected to be okay. But doctors say this could have had a very different ending because cars and kids both get far hotter, far faster, than the average person realizes.
First, you should never, ever leave a child alone in a strange place for 40 minutes. But even if you're going somewhere for a short time, you cannot count on your air conditioning to keep your kid safe.
Here's why: Even a little heat goes a long way, because your car really does act just like a greenhouse, or an oven.
As a demonstration, a Texas police officer turned off his cruiser and locked himself in. After 30 minutes, he had to quit and get out -- it had reached 130 degrees inside.
With no A/C, it takes just 10 minutes for the air in your car to go up 20 degrees. So, when it's in the 90s outside, that means your car can kill your child even faster than you can cook a pizza. Even if it doesn't get that hot in your car, it could still kill your child.
Even if you're going somewhere for a short time, you cannot count on your air conditioning to keep your kid safe. WTSP
Dr. Cynthia Wood White from the Pediatric Health Care Alliance says kids just can't handle heat nearly as well as adults do.
"Kids -- they just don't have the reserves that adults have," she said.
"Our blood vessels dilate, we have a lot more water, a lot more fluid going through our system. So we're able to tolerate the heat a lot better than a small child will."
An outside temperature just in the 60s can make your car fatal inside. And with our summer highs up in the 90's, even air conditioning may not be enough to cool off a sitting, baking car.
There's a new law that just took effect in Tennessee -- it's the first of its kind in America -- and it lets you, a bystander, smash out the window of a car to get to a kid who needs help, after you've called 911.
There's no word on whether a law like that is in the works here in Florida.
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