Dangers of Leaving Children in Hot Cars
For Their Safety, Never Leave a Child in a Hot Car
Tragically, we continue to bear witness to hot car deaths here in Texas and throughout the rest of the country. Even though there has been a movement to raise awareness about the serious dangers of leaving children in hot cars, it still happens at an alarming rate.
Earlier this summer in Texas, three children died within the span of three days as a result of being left in overheating cars, and, unfortunately, this isn’t out of the ordinary. In fact, Texas leads the nation in the number of child hot car deaths, with nearly 130 since 1991. 2018 was the worst year ever over this period with 52 children dying from being left in hot cars across the nation. These numbers indicate just what a serious problem this is here in Texas and elsewhere.
Tragedy Strikes Again
It’s safe to say that the majority of hot car child deaths are unintentional and happen by mistake. People do not realize just how dangerous the heat can be and how quickly it can rise in an enclosed vehicle. Experts say that a car can heat up to 20 degrees or more in a matter of minutes. This is unsafe in itself, but even more serious for children because their body temperature can heat up three to five times faster than adults (according to Kids and Cars).
We mentioned the three child deaths in three days, but those are not the only fatalities we’ve seen in Texas this summer. An 11-month old baby girl died on June 21 (temperatures were in the mid-90s) in Bardwell after she was left in a car at a home address on Elm Street.
Across the nation, 15 children have died as a result of being left in hot cars, all before July. The saddest part is that all of these deaths are extremely preventable. Thanks to organizations like Kids and Cars, we continue to raise awareness and educate parents and caretakers alike about why you should NEVER under any circumstances leave your child in a hot car. It takes only minutes for the temperature to rise to unbearable heat, putting the child in danger.
Preventing Hot Car Deaths
The last thing we want to hear when turning on the evening news is that another child has died of heatstroke. The majority of these deaths occur when the adult forgets the child is in the back seat, but this too can be remedied. Here are a few tips for preventing hot car deaths:
- Get in the habit of leaving something (your phone, wallet, or purse) in the car when stopping
- Make sure your vehicle is locked when at home to prevent your children from ‘playing’ in a hot car
- When getting your child into the car or car seat, place your lunch or some other item next to them, so you will remember they are with you
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to check the car when on longer trips
- Use a buddy system
If your child has been left in a hot car, call 911 immediately. If you notice a child in the backseat of a vehicle that is unattended, stay present and wait for authorities. Use your best judgment in these situations. Child hot car deaths are tragic but avoidable. In the event your child was left in a hot car by a caretaker, please contact Rad Law Firm today to learn about your rights.