Hot car deaths are a serious problem in the United States. Each year, our Erie car accident lawyers remind caregivers and parents about the dangers of vehicular heatstroke. It is essential to remind ourselves that the unthinkable can happen to us and learn how to prevent hot car deaths in Erie.
How Many Children Die From Vehicular Heatstroke?
On average, 39 children each year lose their lives from being left in hot cars. During 2091, 52 children died from vehicular heatstroke. Since 1998, 11 children have died after being left in hot cars in Pennsylvania. Even though that number might seem low, to a parent, one death is one death too many.
Temperatures Rise Quickly in Vehicles
This video illustrates how quickly the temperature in a vehicle can increase. When it is 80 degrees outside, the temperature in a vehicle can reach 106 degrees in just 15 minutes. The temperature in the car can reach 116 degrees in just 15 minutes when it is 90 degrees outside,
A child left inside a car can begin experiencing signs of heatstroke quickly as the child’s body temperature quickly rises. Signs of heatstroke in children include:
- Temperature of 104°F or higher
- Severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Hot, dry, flushed skin
- No sweating
If the child does not receive immediate medical attention, brain damage, and death can occur quickly.
How Can You Prevent Hot Car Deaths?
Approximately 54 percent of the hot car deaths in the United States happen because a parent or caregiver forgets a child is in the vehicle. It may seem impossible to believe that you could forget your child in the car, but it does happen.
Whether you believe this could happen to you or not, it is best for your child to assume that it could happen. If you think it can happen, you are more likely to take steps to prevent a vehicular heatstroke.
Ways you can ensure your child is not left in a hot car include:
- Never leave the car without checking to make sure a child is not in the vehicle.
- Lock the car after checking for children and put the keys somewhere children cannot get them.
- Put something in the back seat that requires you to open the back door to get the item at your destination, such as your laptop, shoe, cell phone, or house keys.
- Ask your daycare provider to call you if your child is more than 10 minutes late.
- Use one of the new apps that alert you if you leave a child in your vehicle.
What Should You Do If You See a Child In a Hot Car?
Call 911 and try to locate the owner of the vehicle. Pennsylvania has a law that protects Good Samaritans who save a child from a hot car from liability if the person made a good faith effort to locate the owner and contact emergency services. The person must not use force that is more than necessary to rescue the child.
Share the above information about how to prevent hot car deaths and practice the tips yourself.
Erie Car Accident Lawyers Fighting for You
If you or your child are injured in a car accident, contact our office to discuss your legal rights. Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule your free legal consultation with our Erie car accident lawyers.