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A 5-year-old boy suffocated to death inside a locked car after accidentally locking himself in it. The incident occurred on the outskirts of Pune, when the boy got out to play with his friends in the afternoon.
It was then that the boy got into the abandoned car to escape the brutal summer heat. The Maruti Esteem in question was parked in an open area for weeks, and the owner of the car is not known yet.
Road Transport Authority searches reveal that the car's registration is active and registered with the Pune RTO, but the owner is yet to be traced. Police found the child's body with burn marks on the neck, face and head.
The child's death may appear suspicious and we refuse to comment on it until further investigations. However, there is one thing we can confirm - Cars heat up to extremes when left in the brutal summer heat, right under the sun. Here are disadvantages of parking directly under the sun and a few precautions to be taken too.
Disadvantages of Parking Your Car Under The Sun:
The paint on all vehicles is weather-proofed to an extent. The colour is made to last several years under normal usage and a few decades if the paint is really taken care of. But parking the car directly under the sun amounts to abusing the paint, and this would eventually cause abnormal and uneven fading of the paint.
Toxic Car Interiors
Plastic can be found in abundance in almost all cars. Many components such as the dashboard, buttons, switchgear, steering wheel, etc are almost always made of plastic. When exposed to excessive heat of the sun for a long period of time without any air circulation, the interior of the car heats up to an extent where toxic gases are released by these plastics.
Breathing in the air with these toxic gases is very harmful and can go to the extent wherein the next generation too could be affected.
Here are a few effective tips to follow while parking your car in the summer heat, to prevent any sort of damage:
Park In The Shade
With urbanisation and excessive deforestation happening in cities, finding some shade to park your car might be quite a task. However, the incentives of parking under the shade outnumber the slight inconvenience caused by trying to find some shade.
It might require one to walk a little longer after parking the car, but this is better than breathing in toxic gases and also losing your paint finish.
Leave The Windows Slightly Open
If there is no option but to park in the sun, leaving the windows slightly open would help to a great extent. At the least, a 1-centimetre gap at the top of the window would allow just that bit of fresh air to enter the car. Increased ventilation also allows the toxic gases to get out of the car.
Windows and Doors Open With Air-Conditioning On Full Blast
After parking your car in the sun for a long time, before taking it for a drive, you should open the doors and windows, start the car and turn the air-conditioning on with the maximum fan speed your car allows.
Doing this pushes out all the toxic gases from inside the car and cools the car down before you can get in and drive away.
Tarpaulins and Car Covers
Tarpaulins and car covers are available for almost all cars on sale in the market today. These covers resist the heat from the sun to a certain extent, especially silver and white-coloured ones. It will definitely protect your car's paint, and will reduce the heat transferred to the interiors.
It is almost always out of compulsion that a person parks directly under the sun. If that is the problem, these precautions will go a long way in keeping you and your car healthy. Utmost caution must be taken especially when there are children around, to ensure that they would not lock themselves up in the car even by mistake.