Number of Children Dying in Hot Cars Nears Record
An alarming story out of Tampa has raised awareness of the dangers of leaving children in hot vehicles. According to CBS News, a one-and-a-half-year-old girl died in Tampa when her family left her in the hot Jeep all day. She was unconscious and not breathing when she was rushed to the hospital, where she died.
This represents the 50th death of a child due to being left in a hot vehicle in 2019. Already, the country is on pace to shatter the record, set last year, of 54 child deaths. According to some estimates, about 700 children have died in hot cars over the past decade and a half.
This young girl was also the fifth fatality this year in Florida, which has the second highest number of children dying in hot vehicles since 1992. According to police, the death appears to be accidental and stemmed from the parents becoming so busy that they forgot about her.
How to Prevent these Accidents
Everyone is busy, and it might be easy to drive to work and leave your child in the vehicle when you really meant to drop him off at daycare. However, there are things you can do to make sure you don’t forget your child. For example, you can put your purse or wallet in the backseat with your child. This way, you have to go back before you head into work, and you should see your child.
If possible, check whether you can put your child in the front seat. This is also a convenient way to remember them when it comes time to get out of the vehicle. If not, then place your child’s car or booster seat in the middle of the back seat. Avoid putting your child directly behind you, which makes it easier to forget them.
Parents magazine also recommends that you have your childcare provider call you whenever you do not drop off your child. Make sure that they have both your work number and your cell phone number. Tell them to call both until they reach you.
Also, you can get into the habit of always scanning your back seat before locking your doors. That way, you’ll never forget your child.
What to Do if You See a Child in a Hot Car
This is a dilemma that can crop up frequently. Say you are walking to the grocery store when you see a child in the back seat of a car, with no adult in sight. What do you do? Should you immediately smash the window to get the child out? What happens if the parent only ran inside the store briefly?
We recommend that you first check all doors. One might be unlocked. If it is, you can get the child out of the hot car and wait for the parents to come out to the vehicle.
If the door is locked, you should call 911 immediately. Report your location and that you are worried about the child. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Earnhart Law is a prominent personal injury firm. If you or your child has been injured, and you think someone else is to blame, give our Delray Beach personal injury attorneys a call at 561-265-2220. We offer a free consultation.