Leaving Children in Hot Cars Is Dangerous


Each year, numerous accidental deaths occur when children are left inside hot vehicles. Since 1998, an average of 37 US children have died every year from being left inside hot cars. A good amount of these were caused by lack of attention and could have been prevented. In these cases, vehicular heatstroke can be a wrongful death case.

According to statistics from 1998 to present, children left inside cars are the result of three primary circumstances:

  • In 54 percent of cases the child was ‘forgotten’ to be in the car.
  • In 29 percent of cases, kids were playing unattended inside a car without the knowledge of the caregiver.
  • In 11 percent of cases, the child was intentionally left inside the car generally while the adult ran an errand.

Within minutes of being left inside a hot vehicle, a child is in serious danger. The following tips can help you prevent making a lethal mistake:

  1. Never Leave A Child Alone In A Car. Sadly, 53 percent of all the children who died from vehicular heatstroke were under the age of 2. Some of this is because caregivers/guardians did not want to disturb sleeping infants or deal with unbuckling car seats for a “quick stop.” The truth is that even a few minutes can be fatal. The inside of a car can heat up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit in less than ten minutes on an average summer day.
  2. Heatstroke Can Happen In Minutes. Heatstroke can happen in a child when their core body temperature reaches around 104 degrees and becomes lethal at 107 degrees. A child’s core temperature can spike three to five times faster than adults, so heatstroke can happen in temperatures as low as 57 degrees and in shaded areas. Symptoms that a child is reaching dangerous heat levels include disorientation, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
  3. Give Yourself A Reminder. Most cases of child deaths in cars involve forgetting the child was even in the car. You can prevent this by setting reminders and insisting that caregivers set reminders that there is a child in the back. Place something you need in the backseat so that you are trained to look in the back seat every time you exit the car, even if you don’t have a child with you.

If your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc. suffered harm after being left inside a hot vehicle, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help.

Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a free consultation.


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