With summer officially here, the days are warmer. With the warmer weather come unique dangers, particularly with regards to children being left in hot cars. According to CNN, three times more children have died in hot cars this year when compared to last year. While these deaths are often accidental, parents and caregivers face criminal charges and may also face personal injury civil lawsuits if a caregiver is found negligent. If your child or a loved one was injured or suffered wrongful death after being left in a hot car in Boise or Nampa, Idaho, you may be entitled to receive a recovery for your losses. Contact the Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen today to learn more.
Hot car deaths tend to occur when parents or caregivers change their routines. Overwhelmed parents or caregivers may be more likely to make errors if they haven’t slept properly or if they are distracted by other concerns while driving.
So, what are some steps parents and caregivers can take to prevent hot car deaths?
One recommendation is for parents and caregivers to place an object they will need near the child’s seat. A purse, wallet, or even a shoe can often do the trick. Parents should also never leave their children unattended in a car. Temperatures can rise by as much as 20 degrees in the first 10 minutes. Even a short time away can be deadly, especially for young children and toddlers. According to WebMD, it is never right to leave a child unattended in a car, even if you roll down the windows.
Heat stroke occurs when a child’s body temperature rises above 104 degrees. The child may experience dizziness, confusion, sluggishness, seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death. If your child is suffering from any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Distractions can also lead to forgetting a child in the back seat of the car. It goes without saying, but texting and driving and talking on the cell phone while you are behind the wheel already overwhelms your cognitive system. If you are already distracted while driving, you’ll be more likely to be distracted at your destination, making it more likely you’ll leave your child behind. Instead, engage in safe driving practices. Put away your phone and focus on your safety and the safety of your child.
Finally, if your child uses a bus service to get to school, make sure that any hired drivers walk through the bus after the route to make sure no child has been left behind.
Hot car deaths are tragic and preventable. These injuries and deaths are truly a parents’ worst nightmare. Speak to your child’s caretakers and drivers to make sure that they are driving safely and avoiding distraction. If your child has been injured in a hot car as a result of another person’s negligence, it is important to understand your rights. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen offer compassionate and caring counsel to personal injury victims in Boise and Nampa, Idaho. Contact us today to learn more.