Keep Children Out of Stationary Cars on Hot Summer Days
It is a story that makes headlines all too often: a parent leaves a child in a car on a hot day and the results are tragic. Despite the headlines, these unnecessary deaths continue to happen, even though they are entirely avoidable. Even a car parked in the shade with the windows down can be a potentially lethal environment, especially for a small child. Leaving a child in a car on a hot Las Vegas day is considered child abuse by law enforcement, and is an act of gross negligence.
What Causes Hot Car Deaths?
In general, vehicular heat deaths are the result of heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees and above, and the regulatory systems become overwhelmed. Symptoms of heat stroke include red or hot skin, a lack of sweating despite the heat, change in pulse, a throbbing headache, dizziness, and nausea. A core temperature of 107 degrees is lethal, and the small bodies of children are less effective at regulating heat than adults. Children’s body temperatures increase three to five times faster than those of adults.
What Temperatures Are Safe for Children?
No temperatures are safe for children in a car, so do not leave children or any animal unattended in a vehicle. Fatalities due to heat stroke have happened in vehicles parked in shaded areas in temperatures of 80 degrees or less. It only takes about 10 minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to increase by 20 degrees, and rolling down the window does little to alleviate this increase.
How to Avoid Child Deaths in Hot Cars
Since most hot-car deaths occur because kids are forgotten or intentionally left in a vehicle, the surest way to avoid such fatalities is to never leave a child in a parked car. Parents and caregivers should always check to be sure their child has been removed, even when just going inside a store or in the house for a minute. Deaths also happen because of children playing in unattended vehicles, so cars and trucks should always be kept locked.
What If a Loved One Has Been Injured in a Hot Car?
If you or a loved one has suffered this type of tragedy due to someone else’s negligence, then call us at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., at (702) 380-8000. Tell us about your situation and we can discuss your next step.