So far this year, there have been at least 8 children who have died from heatstroke after being left in hot vehicles. According to CNN Money, most of these children were infants and toddlers under the age of 2.
“We want to reduce the risk of these preventable deaths and help caregivers avoid accidentally harming a child, as well as address some of the misconceptions about the causes of child heatstroke in cars,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) David Strickland.
Our Highland accident attorneys understand that these kinds of accidents can happen to anyone — even the most loving and conscientious parents. We also understand that we’re seeing temperatures in the 80s during this time of year, which serves up some serious risks. Consider this a reminder to be alert and aware when exiting your vehicle to help ensure that one of these incidents doesn’t happen to you.
Within these eight fatalities recorded around the nation for 2013, seven of them happened in the month of May, which is usually when we see a spike in these numbers.
“It has everything to do with our brains letting us down at the worst possible moment,” said Janette Fennell with KidsAndCars.org.
Since 1998, there have been more than 565 children killed after being left in a vehicle in the U.S. On average, about 38 children are killed in these kinds of accidents each and every year. The risks for these incidents typically start to rise in May, which then we see an average of about four fatalities a month.
More than half of heatstroke deaths occurred when a distracted caregiver forgot a quiet child was in the vehicle.
But there are things that you can do to help to prevent these kinds of accidents:
-Make sure you check your entire vehicle before getting out and locking it up. Set something in the front seat, like a teddy bear or a picture, to help to remind you to do this.
-Consider keeping something important, like a purse or a wallet, in the backseat. This is going to help to force you to go into the back seat before leaving your vehicle.
-Teach your children that cars are not play areas. Never allow a child to play near a vehicle unattended.
-Talk with friends, family members, babysitters and other caregivers about these safety tips.
-Never leave your child alone in a vehicle for any amount of time, not matter how short it is. Never leave them in the vehicle even if you’re only “running in for a minute.” The temperature inside the vehicle can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.
-If you see a child that is alone in a vehicle, call 9-1-1 immediately. Try to get the child out as quickly as you can. Then undress them and lay them down in a cool area. If you’re outside in the sun, find some shade, but if at all possible, move him into a cool room.