Monday, August 25, 2008

Hidden Danger you need to know

We have a warning for parents that you may have not have heard before. A toddler in Northern Illinois is recovering from second degree burns on his hand and you will be surprised how he got them. HOI 19's Jen Christensen talked to the family and doctors to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to your child.
One and a half year old Alex Gove of Northern Illinois suffered second degree burns on the top of his hand after touching the rotor of his parent's minivan. Alex stuck his hand through the wheel well, which is right at eye level, and touched the rotor.

Peoria mom Molly McKenna heard about the accident and contacted HOI 19 news. Molly McKenna said, "Yah, something you just don't think about. It's shocking. Your kids touch a million things. You baby proof your house. You can't baby proof the community, so you have to be really vigilant."

We wanted to know how hot the rotor gets, so we had a technician at Midas test the cars that came in that had been on for about 20 minutes. Surprisingly, the average temperature was 220 degrees. Skin burns at just 124 degrees. Emergency room physician Dr. Jason Stringer from Methodist Medical Center said, "Really you don't have to drive very far and they get very hot, absolutely you can get second, third degree burns." Dr. Stringer says this isn't the first time he has heard of this happening.

He said, "A child's skin is pretty sensitive to begin with and doesn't have a lot of the calluses and things that adults have so i think they are more likely to be injured by those kinds of things. so yah, it's a potential danger."

It might be a good idea to squat down to the height of a toddler and check to see which area's of your vehicle are the biggest danger. Dr. Stringer says the hood of the car and the exhaust could also burn little hands if the car was recently on. Molly said, "You don't think about your kids touching the parts of the car, but when they're real young like her and they use things to lean up against for balance, you have to be really careful about what they actually touch." Molly's telling everyone she knows about the danger, hoping awareness will keep her daughter and other kids safe near the car.

Dr. Stringer from Methodist Medical Center says the biggest danger he sees with vehicles are kids who are not properly restrained in a car seat and kids being hit by a car because the driver failed to look behind the car before leaving.
As many of you know, I have a toddler this same age. I didn't realize the rims on vehicles are more open now than they used to be and you can easily stick your hand in and touch the rotor on most vehicles. I usually keep him right next to me when I get him out of the car. Now I get all the items out first and then get him out of the car so he's not standing right next to the hot rotor. Have you ever heard of this?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


SallyN said...

I did know that rotors get really hot , and actually DD stuck her hand into the wheel for the first time just yesterday! Thankfully, the car had been parked overnight so all parts were cool. But it was a good reminder to teach her to only touch the door!

Ms. PH said...

I'm sorry, but I have to say a big fat "DUH" to this one. Of course, cars get hot and of course they can burn you or your children. Cars are not to be played with or around. They are not toys. I am surprised that there are people out there who didn't prevent things like this out of sheer common sense.

Toddlers touch things. It is the job of parents to watch their toddlers, particularly around dangerous things like stoves, cars, streets, steps, duh, duh, duh, and duh. The fact that this has to turn into a big Public Service Announcement is disgusting.


Film at 11. said...

Ms. PH, Why so mean? We have so many things to keep in mind as parents. I don't think it hurts to get a reminder now and then. The parents in this story were trying to keep the child from running in the street so they taught him to stay near the car. The dad reached in to grab the baby bag and within seconds the child stuck his hand in the wheel well. I am not a big fan of "no duh" stories, but if it's something you don't hear about a lot, I like to remind myself and other parents. I do appreciate you telling us your opinion though!

Jennifer said...

I don't think Ms. PH was being mean. There are so many stories in the news (online, newspaper and newscasts alike) that scream "Danger! Danger!" And the overall affect is pretty much "EVERYTHING can harm/maim/kill your child."
It's overwhelming and overwrought. There is no way to make the world 100% safe. Instead of focusing on the common sense rules of "Watch your kids." "Buckle their seatbelts and use car seats." and "Feed them healthy meals." All the focus is on the next "new danger." said...

I agree that sometimes it seems like all you hear about is danger this and danger that. That can be frustating. It's the same way with health stories-everything causes cancer, right?
I still stand firm that as a parent and newscaster I should warn people about dangers they might not expect. I don't think the information has a negative impact on anyone and it could have a positive impact for some little youngsters. Do you agree or disagree?

Jenny said...

Jen, I appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Of course, I know there are parts of the car that are hot .. but do I specifically think of that in that split second ... NO. Will I now? YES.

If others already 'know' this .. good for them. Why bother posting 'duh' about it it? Just say to yourself, "oh, I know that" and move on.

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