First up, I’m a young fit adult who does regular exercise through cycling throughout the year, including through the hottest parts of Summer. I have no particular predisposition to heatstroke.
The following events happened on Wednesday as a prelude to the topic of this discussion.
I met with a friend for Lunch, and was heading into work for the afternoon around 1:30pm (thanks flex-time). I got in the car to drive over to work after it had been parked in full sun. I maxed out the air conditioning (A/C) in order to counter the intense heat of the cabin. I received a call on the handsfree bluetooth while driving, and due to the relatively crappy nature of my car’s microphone, I had to cut the background noise of the A/C going full blast by turning off said A/C. Over the 2 minute phone call, the car temperature skyrocketed up to the point where I was starting to struggle with concentration. I had to end the call abruptly so I could resume the life support that was air conditioning.
Later in the afternoon, I happened to be doing the grocery shop at Woolworths Majura Par. I decided I needed to pick up a few hardware items from Masters. Rather than moving the car again, I decided to leg it across the carparks to Masters, which turned out to be the best part of a kilometre in distance. The heat on the asphalt was oppressive, and by the time I got into the store I was sweating buckets.
As I was picking out my items from the irrigation aisle, I overheard a man a few metres away with one of the sales assistants. The topic was fairly mundane, but my ears pricked up when the man said “I had better go, I’ve got the kids in the car”. I sneaked a look at the middle aged father and had a quick think. Has he really left his kids out in the car on a day like this? To my mind, (and no I don’t have kids yet), it is not OK to leave the kids in a hot car while you bathe for minutes on end in the air conditioned shops.
For those who haven’t seen this video, it’s a pretty confronting indicator as to the potential severity of this decision.
I didn’t call him out at the time, but I wish I had now. Another day and no lesson learned. I acknowledge I have a pretty strong viewpoint on one side of this argument. What do you think?