Tips to Help Prevent Children from Dying in Hot Cars

Posted on August 31, 2011

With Labor Day approaching and signaling the end of summer holidays, it is important to remember that warm weather car safety is still important to help keep kids safe and healthy, report news sources.

Outside temperatures do not have to be at record highs to put children at risk of becoming overheated; even temperatures that seem mild outside of a vehicle can quickly rise by 20 degrees within 10 minutes. Children are more susceptible to heat stroke and more likely to suffer from heat stroke because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than the bodies of adults. This year, at least 24 children in the U.S. have died from hyperthermia while unattended in vehicles.

Three important safety tips can help prevent child hyperthermia deaths due to being in hot vehicles:

1. Be sure to lock cars and trucks. Almost a third of the child heat stroke deaths in the U.S. happen because the child was playing in an unattended vehicle. Making sure the doors of unattended vehicles are locked can prevent children from entering the vehicle and becoming trapped.

2. Have a reminder system. Many child heat stroke deaths result from parent and caregiver distraction, causing the adult to exit the vehicle but leave the child behind. Some reminders include: Leave something you need (cell phone, briefcase, purse, gym bag) on the floor in front of the child so that reaching for the item is a reminder to make sure the child leaves the car; Set an alarm on your cell phone or calendar as a reminder to drop your child off at daycare; Set up an alert/reminder system with your child’s daycare—if your child does not arrive on time, arrange for the daycare to call you (be especially mindful of your child if your daycare routine changes).

3. Call 911 immediately if you see an unattended child in a vehicle. Paramedics will be able to determine if a child is trouble. Also, if a child is missing, be sure to check vehicles and trunks first.

As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I encourage parents and caregivers to keep children safe by making sure kids are not left in unattended in vehicles. My experience as a wrongful death attorney has shown me that basic preventative measures can be the difference between life and death.

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