Babies in cars

I absolutely approve of Margi Keys' action in rescuing a baby from a scorching hot car (Chronicle front page, January 6).

I did a similar thing myself about 25 years ago in central Wanganui on a blazing hot day. Screaming baby, windows closed, and car locked. Large parking lot in a business complex. No sign of any concerned parent, and nobody else bothering to do anything.

In this case, the sun was also beating directly on to the baby's face, and I wondered who would be stupid enough to do all of that — indeed, it would have been difficult to deliberately make things any worse for the bright red baby.


Thank heavens for one inadvertently unlocked car door.

It took a couple of minutes to turn the cot away from the sun and relieve the baby of several heavy blankets wrapped around it. Then I walked away, leaving a car window fully open and a less beetroot, shaded baby not crying in the still very warm car.

But what do you do? No parent popped out of any business to challenge my actions, though I was clearly visible. Morally. I had no choice.

So glad Margi obviously feels the same way.


Chance to learn

Re "Woman slams man for leaving four-month-old baby in hot car" (Chronicle, January 6), let's put the record straight.

My feeling was less outraged and more sad: sadness that a baby had been left in the car on a hot day and sadness about the ignorance of the baby's caregiver and others that day.

Education is needed. We can all play a part to help parents know that cars get unbearably hot, even with the windows down, and that young children's bodies cannot handle the heat.

The message from Plunket, the NZ Police, the medical fraternity and SPCA is clear: never leave a living being unattended in a car, especially on a hot day. It's too dangerous.

A couple of minutes is all it takes for a child to become distressed. Two minutes can turn into 10 and then, before you know it, the child is unconscious; the damage is done.

This was a near miss; disaster was avoided.


Pests, not 1080

Merv Smith (letters, January 2) claims the many kiwi that have died at Pukaha Mt Bruce were killed by 1080. This is curious, because most of them were killed by ferrets — cause of death confirmed by autopsy and DNA analysis.

At Pukaha Mt Bruce they have recently set up a fence system which funnels incoming ferrets into an area full of traps. This year, they have caught 60-plus ferrets, as opposed to a handful in previous years. Hopefully, this will improve survival for kiwi at Mt Bruce.

Merv also claims that 1080 drops at Mt Bruce have led to rabbit plagues on surrounding farmland. Could he be saying the 1080 has wiped out the ferrets that are needed to control the rabbits? Of course, ferrets also kill kiwi. Note that more than 500 kiwi have been monitored through 1080 drops nationwide, and not one has died from 1080.

The reason DOC takes kiwi eggs from Okahu Valley, raises them to a year old and then releases them is because there is no pest control at Okahu Valley. Left in the wild, 95 per cent of the chicks would be killed by stoats before reaching the size where they are safe from them.


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