As we approach the warmer weather and the thought of rising temperatures we begin to contemplate all of the relaxing outdoor activities that lie ahead. Golf, tennis, hiking, dog walking, ball playing, going to the beach and just enjoying time out of doors. But it is also important to keep in mind some of the deadly consequences that can result from the warmer weather.
A tragic fact is that in 2015, 24 children died in heat related incidents that involved parents and caregivers leaving children unattended while in a motor vehicle. Sadly, heat stroke related death is the largest cause of children dying in non-crash related incidents involving children 14 years of age and younger. These incidents account for over 60% of the total of all non-crash fatalities in this age group. Since 1998, there have been 684 tragic child deaths from heat stroke as a result of being left in a car. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is the fact that these fatalities are completely preventable.
In an effort to cut down on these senseless deaths the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has instituted its first ever national campaign aimed at educating parents, caregivers, grandparents and others about the potentially deadly consequences of leaving children in hot motor vehicles. The Where’s baby? Look Before You Lock message asks all parents, grandparents, and other care-givers to be mindful when leaving their vehicles.
The important message to be learned is that closed vehicles heat up very quickly. People sometimes think that leaving a window rolled down several inches can greatly reduce or even eliminate the risk of overheating. However, even with a window opened in a car, if the outside temperature is in the 80’s, then a vehicle can reach deadly temperature levels in a short amount of time. In as little as 10 minutes, the temperature in a car can increase by 20 degrees. Children ages 4 years and younger are especially vulnerable due to their smaller size and because their bodies can overheat much quicker.
So here are some tips for preventing these potentially deadly accidents:
Never leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle;
Make it a habit of always checking the inside of your vehicle before locking or leaving it; and
If you ever see a child unattended in a vehicle call 911 and/or the police and stay at the car until emergency help arrives. If the child appears to be in distress get them out as quickly as possible.
Taking proactive steps can help to prevent accidents and childhood deaths.
If a loved one has been the victim of CT heat related child fatality, contact us to put our decades of experience to work for you. Visit our website to download one of our free books or call one of our CT personal injury attorneys at (888) 244-5480.