Kids face many risks in the summer when they are on break. There is an added danger for teen drivers who are not in school and spend more time in the car with friends. There is also an added risk of both pedestrians and bicycle accidents as kids spend more time outside. One other risk, however, is a big threat for very young children including infants: the risk of being left inside of a hot car.
A child left inside of a hot car could face death from heatstroke in under 10 minutes even if the windows of the vehicle are left open two inches. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a campaign to alert parents about this tremendous risk. Those whose children are injured or killed by caregivers also need to understand their legal rights and should consult with a personal injury attorney.
The Risks of Child Deaths in Hot Cars
If a child's temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child will die. Young children are especially vulnerable to heat stroke because their bodies can heat up between three and five times faster than the body of an adult.
Despite this, some parents intentionally leave their kids in the car for a few minutes. Studies have shown that about 14 percent of parents admit to leaving a child alone in a parked vehicle. Dads are much more likely than moms to leave kids inside of a car. While only about eight percent of mothers said that they would leave their children locked in a vehicle, a total of 23 percent of fathers admitted doing so.
Parents of kids aged three and under are most likely to leave their children in the car, with about 23 percent of parents of young kids saying they have left their child in the vehicle. In total, more than 3.3 million kids throughout the U.S. have been left in vehicles.
Not all children are hurt or killed when left inside cars, but too many do suffer injury or death. Since 1998, an average of 38 children have died each summer when left inside of a car. In 2013, there were a total of 44 fatalities. The number of children who suffer permanent injury including brain damage, blindness and deafness is not known.
Parents need to understand how dangerous this behavior is, even if outside temperatures are in the low to mid 80's. From May through September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched the "Look Before You Lock" campaign to alert the public of the risks and to remind parents that they should check their cars to make sure kids have not been left inside. This campaign is targeted at parents who unintentionally leave their children in their vehicles because they forget the kids are in the car seat in the back.
The Look Before You Lock campaign urges parents to get into the habit of checking the back seat of their vehicles every time before they lock the car so they make sure there is never a situation where a child is accidentally left inside.
A Detroit personal injury attorney can help victims. Contact Fraser & Souweidane P.C. at (866) 465-9095 or visit https://www.fsattorneys.com to schedule a free consultation.