Police Need More Education – Dangers of Kids and Cars

by John McKiggan

I saw an article recently where RCMP in Ladysmith British Columbia are reminding parents to teach their children to know when it is appropriate to call 911. The proper understanding in use of 911 is something that every parent needs to know.

However, what struck me as most important about the article is that the RCMP need some better education themselves about what constitutes a potential emergency.

The article describes an incident where a sleeping child woke up after being left alone in a car by his parent. The child was upset and used a cell phone to call 911.

The article gives the impression that the police were of the view that this was not an emergency and not a proper use of the 911 emergency service.

The child’s parent has since explained what constitutes a real emergency, said the officer.

I beg to differ. The police spokesperson in this case obviously need some education about the dangers of leaving children alone in cars.

Hundreds of children die every year in non-collision incidents involving cars.

For example, children can be seriously injured or die as a result of hyperthermia (heat stroke), hypothermia (freezing to death), strangulation from electric windows, collisions after being struck by another car, among a host of other potential dangers.

KidsandCars.org has established its first international chapter in Canada to help educate the public about the potential dangers that cars can pose to children.

Kidsandcars.org reminds parents and guardians that children should never be left unattended in a car.

I think the child in this news story should be congratulated rather than chastised. If anyone should be receiving a talking to it is the parent who left their child alone and the police for not realizing how potentially serious this incident could have been.

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