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Better safe than sorry

Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle can be highly dangerous

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Children left in cars have become an all-too-familiar scene lately. In April, a little girl was locked in a school van for several hours and died after two weeks in a coma. Her death was followed by that of a kindergartner who had been locked in a truck for seven hours. 

The most recent case happened a few weeks ago when a two-year-old boy was left unattended in a van with the engine running on a sweltering day while his father went to the fresh market to buy food. When police officers arrived, they found the crying boy locking people out of the car. Fortunately the boy was saved. His father claimed that he left boy in the vehicle as he didn't want to disturb his sleep.

Like the father of this boy, many parents think that there is no harm in leaving a child unattended in a car for a few minutes. But Dr Adisak Palitpolkarnpim, head of the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre at Ramathibodi Hospital, argues otherwise.

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