The NHTSA is calling attention to the danger children face from heatstroke in hot cars. In the past 20 years, 764 children have died because of heatstroke in hot cars in the United States. On July 31, which is Heatstroke Awareness Day, the NHTSA will increase its effort to make everyone aware of the risk of heatstroke caused by leaving children in a vehicle.
What are the Facts?
Children who are trapped in vehicles because they were unsupervised or left in vehicles by mistake are at an extremely high risk of death from heatstroke. A child can die from heatstroke even in lower outdoor temperatures. The temperature inside a motor vehicle can reach 110 degrees even when the temperature outside the vehicle is as low as 60 degrees. A child perishes when his or her body temperature reaches 107 degrees.
Therefore, the risk of heatstroke and death can occur at any time of year, not just in the hot summer months. It is extremely important for parents and caregivers to take every precaution to ensure that a child is not left in a vehicle or has access to get into a vehicle without supervision.
Some of the safety tips to help prevent a child from being left in a vehicle include:
- Make it a habit to check the entire vehicle before you lock the car. After locking the car, look again just to be sure before walking away.
- Place keys to your vehicle in a place where a child cannot access the keys to enter the vehicle. Always lock your vehicle to prevent children from entering the vehicle unsupervised.
- If your child is riding with another person, check to ensure your child arrived at the location at the expected time.
- Place a reminder such as a stuffed animal or other object where you will always see the object to remind you to check for a child in the vehicle.
- Keep your pocketbook or wallet beside your child’s booster seat or car seat.
- Place your shoe on the floor in front of your child so that you must look to retrieve your shoe.
- Before you retrieve personal items, groceries, or other items out of the vehicle, get your child out of the vehicle.
- Do not assume another person is removing a child from a vehicle. Every adult in a vehicle should assume the responsibility to ensure that everyone exits the vehicle before the vehicle is locked.
- Teach children that vehicles are not areas to play in the same way you would teach a child not to go into a pool alone or walk into the road alone.
It cannot be stressed enough that we need to make it a habit always to check vehicles to ensure no one, especially a child, is left alone in a vehicle. It only takes minutes for a tragedy to occur.
New Orleans Car Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to seek the counsel of an attorney to discuss your rights and options for recovering compensation for damages. For a free case review, contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889.