A video showing a crowd attempting to save a child locked in a car parked in front of a bank in Section 9, Shah Alam went viral on social media earlier today. In the end, the rear window of the car was broken to open the door and the child was rescued from the car.

You can consider this a very happy ending for this particular incident as we’ve read before news of children dying from heat stroke after being left in a car right here in Malaysia. We are a tropical country, and a car can heat up pretty quickly. It can take as little as 15 minutes stuck in an overheated car interior for a child to suffer life-threatening brain or kidney injuries.

According to Ahmad Mahyuddin Mohamed, Orthopedic and Traumatology consultant at Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital in Temerloh, there’s no guarantee that a heat stroke can be prevented with slightly opened windows and leaving the air conditioner on in a static car. Children shouldn’t be left alone in a car even for a minute. The heat can cause sweating, dehydration, seizures, brain and organ damage, and eventually death.

When a child’s body temperature hits 40 degrees Celsius, internal organs shut down, and at 41.6 degrees Celsius, the child could die.

The person who recorded this particular video later clarified on Facebook that the mother of child was actually among those in the crowd trying to rescue the child and it was not a case of the mother forgetting the child but a case of “auto lock” where the child ended up trapped in the car with the keys inside.

Whatever the story is, we shouldn’t fool around and leave our children unattended in vehicles. Here are some tips to make sure we never make the mistake of leaving our children in the car alone and unattended.

look-before-you-lock-back

Other than trying our very best to remember, other methods we can use to ensure that we don’t forget about our sleeping babies is to place an item (that you need to take with you when you leave your car) at the rear with the child. This could be your handbag, for example, and you can place it on the floor in a secure area just so you are forced to go to the back of the car when you leave.

To passersbys, if you spot a child left in a car alone, you should call the police immediately. Please share this with everyone you know who has children, or has to take care of children.