Pretty soon, the cool spring rains will be behind us and the days will once again be dominated by the summer sun. While summer is often a welcome season for adults and children alike, the warmer weather does pose a risk to youngsters. Children in particular need to be protected from the sun’s rays. Of course, sunscreen is a must to protect a child’s more sensitive skin from a burn. However, children also need to be protected from the summer heat as well. Even though most adults think that it could not happen to them, even the most loving of parents can forget and leave a child in a hot car. In fact, more than 700 children have died from heatstroke after being forgotten in a hot car since 1998 or approximately 37 children per year.
Heatstroke, a medical condition which occurs when a person is exposed to a prolonged period of high temperatures, causing the body’s internal temperature to rise to 104 degrees or higher, can cause serious injury and even death. According to the Mayo Clinic, young children are especially susceptible to the risks of heatstroke, a leading cause of death. In 80 degree temperatures, it takes only 10 minutes for the inside of a vehicle to increase in temperature by 20 degrees. In other words, in less than it takes to brew a pot of coffee or make a box of macaroni and cheese, your child could be dead, if left inside a car.
The most tragic part about hot car deaths is that they are 100 percent preventable. Parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers especially, need to learn to take steps now to make sure that this tragedy does not happen to them. The following are some of the tricks that adults can use to make sure they do not forget a child in the car:
- Leave something in the backseat. When traveling with a child, always leave something in the backseat that forces you to check the backseat before you lock up. The item could be your cell phone, purse, briefcase, or even your left shoe!`
- Stuffed animal trick. Put a large stuffed animal in each of your children’s car seats. When the child is riding with you, move the stuffed animal to the front passenger seat to serve as a reminder that the child is in the car with you.
- Always lock your car. Children also die after playing in an unlocked car and become trapped inside. It is best to keep your car locked and the keys or key fob out of the reach of children.
- Look before you lock. Make it a habit that each time you lock your car that you check the backseat.
- Have a plan with caregivers. Parents, often out of routine, have forgotten to drop off a quiet sleeping child at daycare. Make sure that your daycare provider knows to call you promptly if your child does not arrive at the designated drop off time.
At The Handley Law Center, we hope that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable summer. However, if someone you love is seriously injured in an accident this summer, it is important to know that he or she may be entitled to compensation. At The Handley Law Center, our team of seasoned Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys will review your case and give you a determination of what your case may be worth. Trust only skilled Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys to evaluate your case. To learn how The Handley Law Center can help you, contact our office today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation.