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Minerva Psichiatrica 2018 September;59(3):139-43

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.18.01969-6

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Children left unattended in vehicles in Italy: look behind you before leaving your car

Pietro FERRARA 1, 2 , Valeria SANNICANDRO 1, Cristina SERIO 2, Federica SANDULLO 2, Francesca IANNIELLO 1, Giovanni CORSELLO 3

1 Institute of Pediatrics, Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy; 2 Service of Pediatrics, Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy; 3 Institute of Pediatrics, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


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In recent years, the number of children left unattended in parked vehicles is increasing and, according to the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act, this phenomenon can be considered a form of neglect. In addition, the exposure of children to warm environments could cause their death from hyperthermia and heat stroke. Children are more vulnerable than adults to heat for three reasons: children have a high surface area body mass ratio, a less heat dissipation from center of the body to periphery and a less sweat production. In addition, a study was carried out to evaluate the effects of stress on Working Memory, whose alteration could bring a parent to forget his child in the car. In Italy, since 2011, there were 38 cases: due to the increased incidence of the phenomenon, it is indispensable an awareness-raising campaign, that pediatricians need to be the spokespersons.


KEY WORDS: Hot temperature - Child - Motor vehicles - Death

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