It is summer! Time for family vacations, trips to the beach, and lazy days spent at the lake. However, it is also a dangerous time for children, especially young children, who are left in vehicles. Temperatures can rise very quickly in a parked vehicle, even on a cool day. According to Consumer Reports, when it is 70 degrees outside, the inside of a vehicle can reach more than 120 degrees in a very short time. Children are at a much higher risk for heat stroke and death in a vehicle than adults. Therefore, a tragedy can occur in a matter of minutes in a hot vehicle, but why does it happen.
It Can Happen to Anyone
Even though you know it happens, you would never leave your child in the car, correct? How can a parent “forget” their child is in the back seat? When we hear about these cases, we cannot understand how a parent could do this to their child. We think, “I would never forget my child.” The parents who have lived through this horrific event probably thought the same thing when they heard about it happening to other parents. The sad truth is that this tragedy happens more often than you might believe, and it can happen to anyone.
How Often Do Children Die in Hot Cars?
There are no statistics for Canada, but the United States does keep statistics for these deaths. Since 1990, 793 children have died from heat stroke in vehicles in the U.S. In over one-half of the instances, the child was unknowingly left in the car by a loving, caring parent. Only 13 percent of the fatalities were from parents leaving their child in the vehicle on purpose. Over one-half of the children who die in overheated cars are one year old or younger.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Tragedy from Happening to Your Family?
When young children fall asleep in the back seat, it is easier than you may believe to get caught up in your thoughts and fully intend to get out, go around the car, and get your child but something sticks in your mind and you can forget. Some companies have designed electronic notifications that remind parents to check the back seat before exiting the vehicle. Other ways you can prevent overheated car tragedies are:
- Place something you know you will take with you in the backseat such as your company ID card, wallet, left shoe, or cell phone.
- Keep something on your dashboard that will remind you that your child is in the backseat such as a small toy or picture.
- Decide with your childcare provider that he or she will call you if you do not bring your child to daycare.
- Always lock vehicles and place keys where children cannot reach them to prevent a child from entering a car and becoming trapped.
- Set a reminder on your cell phone to check the backseat.
- Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended for any amount of time.
- Purchase one or more of the new devices on the market to remind you that your child is in the vehicle.
- If someone else is transporting your child, check to make sure he or she arrives at the destination on time.
You may believe this tragedy could never happen to you and your child; however, it is better to assume it can happen and take steps to prevent it from occurring.
Ontario Personal Injury Lawyers
If your child is injured in a car wreck or other accident, the team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond want to help you hold the negligent party liable for his or her actions. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.