You’ve seen the headlines. Each year a handful of children are left in a hot car to die from heatstroke. These are unthinkable tragedies that we are certain cannot happen to a vigilant parent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
The fact is that heatstroke tragedies can happen to loving, caring,
attentive parents. The vast majority of these tragedies happen when a
child is mistakenly left behind in a vehicle or when an
unattended child gains access to a vehicle.
The truth is that our lives are increasingly hectic. Add to that the normal stress a parent endures, and the risk of making such a deadly mistake increases.
The reality is that heatstroke is the number one cause of non-crash-related deaths in children ages 14 and younger. Please consider these facts:
- Since 1998, 606 children have died from car-related heatstroke.
- 52% were forgotten.
- 29% were trapped when they crawled into the car by themselves.
- 38 children die every year from vehicle-related heatstroke.
- In 10 minutes a car can heat up 20 additional degrees.
- Opening a window doesn’t lessen the heat.
- Car-related heatstroke can occur when the outside temperature is only 57 degrees.
- The body temperature of a child can increase five times faster than an adult’s.
Children’s fragile bodies simply cannot handle the higher temperatures, but in fact, neither can adults or pets. Keeping your children safe this summer means following a few simple but crucial rules established by the NHTSA.
Keeping Your Child Safe
Thunder Law, your Las Vegas personal injury attorney, believes that there is no bigger priority than keeping your children safe. We’ve compiled some standard safety procedures that will help ensure your child’s safety this summer:
- Since backseat car seats have been mandated, we recognize it’s easier to forget about children in a car seat. Make it your policy to always check the back seat before locking and leaving your vehicle.
- Place your purse, phone, or briefcase on the floor at your child’s feet when they’re in the car with you. That way you have to grab it before you leave the car – and grab your child, as well.
- Store your keys in a place where your child cannot reach them. NHTSA says three in 10 heatstroke deaths occur when a child gains access to a vehicle without a parent’s knowledge.
- Consider ordering a baby mirror so you can observe your child in the backseat.
- Order a window decal reminder.
- Educate your children about the trunk release and the importance of not getting into the car when you’re not there.
- Speak to your child’s caregivers about following these same rules.
The website, Kids and Cars has great resources for parents. There are stories that illustrate how easy it really is to forget a child in a back seat.
Personal Injury – Thunder Law
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