Summer can be a dangerous time for children in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Wellington and all of South Florida. An experienced accident lawyer knows there is an added risk of pedestrian and bicycle accidents for children during the summer months, as well as an increased risk of drownings. One of the most dangerous risks for young kids, however, is being left inside of hot vehicles in the Florida sun.
Children who are left inside of hot vehicles can quickly suffer serious injuries. Even when the temperature outside is in the low 80s, the temperature inside of a vehicle can reach a deadly level in just 10 minutes. This is true even if the window is cracked by around two inches.
A child's body temperature could reach 107 degrees quickly, which can cause permanent brain damage, blindness and deafness among other impairments. A child could also die within just a few minutes of reaching this elevated body temperature. Young children are not as able to regulate their body temperature as older kids or adults, and children under the age of 4 are at the greatest risk of suffering permanent injuries or fatalities from being left inside of a hot vehicle.
Preventing Injuries and Deaths to Children in the Summer Heat
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a campaign to alert caregivers to the dangers of leaving children inside of hot vehicles and is providing parents and other caregivers with tips to help reduce the chances of children dying in hot cars.
Parents are advised to get into the habit of always checking the back seat and front seat of the car when they park their vehicle. Leaving a briefcase or a purse inside of the back seat of a car is also a good way for parents to remember always to look in the back seat and make sure their child is not left inside of the car seat. This can be especially important for a caregiver who does not regularly transport the child as part of a normal daily routine. Day care providers can also be alerted to call parents if a child is not dropped off as normal.
Parents are not the only ones who can leave a child inside of a vehicle. A representative of a day care center, church group or other organization that routinely transports young children could also accidentally leave a child inside of a bus or a transport van. These professional caregivers should take a head count of children when a car is stopped and parked in order to make sure that no child is accidentally left aboard the vehicle in the heat.
If parents and caregivers follow best practices for safety, hopefully there will be fewer injuries and deaths of children in hot vehicles this summer. Although these injuries and fatalities are 100 percent preventable, the NHTSA reports that 30 children died in hot cars over the course of 2014. Since 1998, there have been 637 children killed by being left inside of vehicles. Caregivers can be held accountable when their negligence causes brain damage or death to children that have been left inside of a car.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, visit www.davidglatthornlaw.com or contact David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 to discuss your rights. Serving Palm Beach County, including Wellington, West Palm Beach and all of South Florida.