During hot summer days in the Carolinas, it is crucial to be mindful of the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car.
So far this year, at least 27 children have died in hot cars, according to the child safety advocacy group KidsAndCars.org.
Sometimes accidental heatstroke deaths occur because a parent forgets that the child is in the backseat. In other cases, fatal accidents occur after a curious child climbs into an unlocked car without a parent’s knowledge and gets trapped inside.
Tips for Preventing Accidental Deaths in Hot Cars
Here are some essential steps to prevent accidental hot car deaths:
- Never leave your child unattended in the car, no matter what. Some parents may think removing a sleeping infant from a car seat will be too disruptive for a quick pop into a convenience store. On a 90-degree day in Charlotte or Columbia, the temperature inside a parked car will soar to 119 degrees in 20 minutes and 133 degrees after an hour.
- Keep in mind how quickly the temperature rises inside a parked car. Heatstroke can happen when the body’s temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Even with the windows down, the child is at risk of suffering a heat stroke.
- Get in the habit of opening the back door of your car and looking inside before you lock the vehicle and walk away.
- Give yourself reminders that your child is in the backseat. On a hectic day, it can be easy for even the best parent to forget that they have a sleeping infant in the backseat of the car. As such, parents should give themselves visual reminders in immediate view, such as putting a diaper bag or a stuffed animal in the front seat.
- Better yet, place something that you need in the backseat next to your sleeping infant, such as your briefcase, computer, or shoes. This way, you will not risk forgetting that your child is asleep in the backseat when you get out.
- Always lock your car doors when the vehicle is empty. Curious children may try to climb into an unlocked car while playing outside. They can easily get locked inside on a hot summer day.
- Call 911 if you see a child unattended in a vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises bystanders that get them out as quickly as possible if they see a child in distress due to heat.
- Download the Kars4Kids safety app, which is “designed to alert drivers when they leave their cars to remember there is a baby in the backseat,” according to the product’s website.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in North Carolina
If you or someone you love suffered injuries because of another party’s negligence, an experienced Charlotte, NC car accident lawyer can help. Contact the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. today if you were in a car accident and need assistance filing a compensation claim.