Preventing "Hot-Car" Child Injuries & Fatalities

With the official summer season just around the corner, it is important to be aware of the impending dangers that these hot months can bring to your family. While people who are watching news of parents who leave children in hot vehicles, and think to themselves that that would never happen to them, they need to think again. Parents who have fallen victim to this devastating act often say that they forgot their child was in the car or that they were unaware of how quickly the temperatures rise in the car. Lack of education sadly can have devastating results in the lives of children, which is why as parents, caregivers, or friends and family members; we need to be very aware of the hazards at hand when traveling with children.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration warns people of the many dangers that are associated with leaving a child inside a car, even for a short period of time. According to the NHTSA, in just ten minutes, the temperatures of a car can increase by 20 degrees, and on a hot summer day that can be deadly. Even during the colder months, if it is in the 60's outside, the inside of a car can still reach over 100 degrees. It is important to also remember, that in a majority of states, leaving a child unattended in a car is not only dangerous but it is also illegal. Even if this is just a fast stop inside the grocery store for a loaf of bread before dinner, if an officer catches this happening you may be facing child endangerment penalties with the local authorities. Clearly, child safety is a matter to be taken very seriously. With that, here are a few helpful tips in order to prevent this type of situation from happening in the future.

First and foremost, you must never leave your child unattended in vehicle at any time. Even if it is just for a few moments and the windows are open, if the car is parked and you are out of it, they should be as well. Whether you are a parent or a caregiver, be sure to get into the driving habit of looking inside the vehicle, front and backseats, to make sure that all children are out of the car before you walk away and lock up. There are a number of parents who have shared that because they were too busy or too tired in the morning that they forgot to let their child out of the car. If you are married, hold each other accountable to dropping off the kids at school or child care. Send each other a text or call one another in order to make sure that your children are where they need to be. If you are quick to forget the presence of your children in the care, leave notes and reminders that they are there. For example, write a post it note and stick it on your steering wheel or put your valuable items (purse, briefcase or coffee) in the back seat so you are certain to check in the back before leaving. Do whatever you can to keep the children out of harm's way, because the son can do more damage than you may realize.

In the event you see a child locked inside a car, call 911 immediately and standby until they arrive. If it is at all possible for you to get them out of the car because they appear to be stressing out over the heat or unconscious, do whatever you can to help them and cool them down. The body of a child heats up more rapidly than that of an adult, which is why taking caution for their safety is so crucial. Because of this, studies show that in just ten minutes of being stuck inside a car, even with the windows rolled down a crack, a child may suffer of extreme heat stroke and die. One of the primary reasons for this is because a child does not sweat as much as an adult, which is how we naturally lower our body temperatures.

Please encourage those in your life to heed these warning carefully, not only in the summer months, but at all times as well. In the event an injury or death happens to your loved one because of a negligent caregiver, please contact Simmons, Morris & Carroll, LLC today to discuss taking legal action. We are trusted Shreveport injury attorneys who will fight for you, call us today for more information!

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