Sadly, five children have already died this year in hot car accidents. On average, 39 children die each year of heatstroke or other heat-related conditions cause they are left in a vehicle. Twenty-eight children in Louisiana have died from heatstroke deaths in cars since 1998.
For a parent, it is unthinkable that they could leave their child in a vehicle, but it happens. Parents forget. Some parents intentionally leave their children in the car without knowing the dangers.
Whatever the reason might be for leaving a child in a car, it is dangerous. Children in cars can die within minutes from heatstroke. As we do every summer, our New Orleans car accident lawyers want to remind parents of the dangers of hot car deaths and review the tips for avoiding this terrible tragedy.
How Quickly Can a Car Heat Up On a Hot Day?
This illustration shows you how quickly your car can heat up when it is just 80 degrees outside. Within 10 minutes, the temperature inside your car reaches 99 degrees. In just 20 minutes, the temperature inside the vehicle is 109 degrees.
A child left inside of a hot vehicle can reach heatstroke temperatures in minutes. The temperature in the vehicle causes the child’s body temperature to rise to dangerous levels very quickly. Without immediate intervention and medical care, the child will not survive.
What Can You Do to Prevent Vehicular Heatstroke in Children?
If you see a child left in a hot car, call 911 immediately. Follow the instructions given by the emergency operator. If the child is unresponsive or appears to be in distress, the 911 operator may have you break the glass to get the child out. It can be helpful to keep a tool in your vehicle that breaks glass safely.
Just over one-half of the hot car deaths in children occur because the parent or caregiver forgot that the child is in the car. Take steps to remind yourself that your child is in the car. This advice may sound unnecessary, but many parents who never thought that it could happen to them are asking themselves why they did not take the issue more seriously.
- Use an app to remind you that your child is in the vehicle. There are several apps available that sound an alarm if you walk away and your child is left in the vehicle.
- Get into the habit of looking in the back seat whenever you exit the vehicle.
- Place your shoe, your wallet, house key, or your phone in the back seat so that you are forced to open the door to retrieve it.
- Always lock your vehicle after checking to make sure no one is in the car. Secure your keys in a place where children cannot reach them.
- Have your daycare provider call if your child is more than 10 minutes late.
Stop Hot Car Deaths
Saving your child’s life is worth making an effort to create new habits. Taking hot car deaths seriously can prevent a tragedy from happening to your family.
New Orleans Car Accident Attorneys Working for You
If you or your child is injured in a car accident, we can help. Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free consultation with one of our New Orleans car accident lawyers.