NEWS

What you need to know about cars, kids and heat

07/04/2013 07:05 EDT | Updated 09/03/2013 05:12 EDT
Two tragic deaths are serving to remind parents not to leave their children in the car as hot weather moves into the Maritimes.

Family and friends gathered Wednesday to mourn an Ontario toddler who died last week after being left alone in a sweltering car.

The funeral for Maximus Huyskens took place just hours before a three-year-old girl, who was left in a hot car in Edmonton, died in hospital.

Hot cars are particularly dangerous for young children, says the Canada Safety Council. On a summer day the temperature inside a car can soar to 50 C in as little as 10 to 20 minutes.

Heatstroke can occur when surrounding temperatures reach about 40 degrees. A child left in a sweltering car could go into shock, sustain vital organ failure and die — sometimes even after being rushed to hospital.

According to kidsandcars.org/canada, these are the circumstances:

- Unknowingly left in vehicle: 54.25 per cent

- Got into vehicle on their own: 31.58 per cent

- Knowingly left in vehicle: 11.94 per cent

- Circumstances unknown: 1.82 per cent

Click the audio link to hear Maritime Noon's Norma Lee MacLeod speak with Catherine Gaudreau from the Canada Safety Council on the danger of leaving children in hot cars.

MORE:cbcNews