Cumberland Times-News

Columns

June 18, 2014

Bad habit

Don’t leave a child alone in a vehicle, even briefly

— A recent survey by a public opinion research firm has some troubling results. Twenty-three percent of parents with children age 3 and under have deliberately left their child alone in a vehicle.

The findings were made in a survey by Public Opinion Strategies, a research firm specializing in political, public affairs and public policy.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said the results are especially concerning because temperatures this week are 90 degrees or hotter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicles deaths for children under age 14.

Since 1998, there have been at least 606 heatstroke deaths of children left in cars, according to San Francisco State University’s Department of Geosciences. The same research states that on average, 38 children die each year, or one approximately every 9 days. In 2013, 44 children died of heatstroke. Four children have died through May 15, 2014. The university’s department review of media reports shows that 95 percent of the children who died of heatstroke from 1998-2013 were five years old or younger.

Leaving children left unattended in vehicles is never alright — even if it is just for a couple of minutes. Further, make a habit of checking your vehicle, front and back, before locking the door and walking away. Children have died because they fell asleep in their car seats and their parents didn’t realize they were still in the car.

Every parent or caretaker of children should heed these statistics as a wakeup call.

 

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    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

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  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

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    July 20, 2014

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    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

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    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

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    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

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    Weather news on television and internet focus on violent weather, extreme temperatures and flooding.

    July 13, 2014