During summers, the temperatures go soaring high across the country. While we all know that leaving dogs in hot cars can be deadly, with temperatures approaching oven-like levels in just a few minutes, people don’t often think about how hot indoor spaces can get during a heatwave.
For a 3-year-old girl in the middle of July 2017, the simple act of taking a nap almost became deadly. Her concerned mother took to the internet to warn other parents about the lethal scenario.
It was the middle of the summer in 2017. For residents of Edmonton, Alberta, that July brought them scorching highs many had never seen. The average high in the Canadian city at that time of year is just 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius). So when a fierce heatwave arrived and drove the mercury up to over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), mom of two Jennifer Abma brought her kids inside away from the sun.
She thought she was doing the right thing. Her kids, Anastasia, 3, and Ariel, 1, at the time, came inside out of the heat and played around for a bit before settling in for their afternoon naps. Though everyone felt hot that day, Abma had no idea just how hot it would get in her daughters’ rooms without any fans or air conditioning to cool things down.
When Abma went into Anastasia’s room, which had the windows and doors closed just like always, the temperature was an astounding 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius), as reported by TODAY, hotter than the average high in Death Valley for the month of July. “I had no idea how hot her bedroom was until I went to wake her up soaked in sweat, red face, boiling,” she wrote on Love What Matters, warning other parents.
"THIS was my evening, this was the scariest moment I've had to imagine, THIS is severe heatstroke. There is nothing…
Then she saw Anastasia and knew something was very wrong indeed. As Abma told TODAY: “It was awful.” Instead of seeing her daughter sleeping peacefully, Abma found her daughter unresponsive to her touch. Little Anastasia was in the throes of a deadly case of heatstroke.
Her mother repeatedly tried to get her to come back from her heat coma but couldn’t. As she wrote on Facebook, “There is nothing scarier than not being able to wake your baby up.”
After repeated attempts to wake her up, Abma called the paramedics, who were able to revive Anastasia using sugar. While a normal level of glucose in a person is 4 grams, Anastasia’s barely reached 1.2, as Abma shared.
They found the girl’s body temperature was 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). “She got really, really lucky. She was probably minutes away from permanent damage,” Abma told TODAY.
While Anastasia recovered fully, Abma was absolutely terrified at how quickly heatstroke had set in without any warning.
“It is not something you would think of happening in your kid’s bedroom,” she explained to TODAY. Thankfully, Anastasia was revived and cooled down before anything worse could happen, but Abma wanted other parents to understand how easily they could lose their kids.
“Hopefully other parents can take something from this & make sure you are checking the rooms in your house because they can be as dangerous as a hot car,” she wrote for Love What Matters.
So in summer, it’s not just your dogs that are in danger from excessive heat—it’s the people who mean the most.
Keep them safe!