One of the most devastating times in any parent’s life is when he or she loses a child. The  wrongful death of a child is distressing and overwhelming. Unfortunately, in some cases, the accident could have been avoided and the child’s death could have been prevented. One of the most dangerous situations for children is being left unattended in a hot car.

Hot car child deaths continue to happen and already this year there have been several in our area. Sometimes the parent forgets a child in the back car seat while at other times, a daycare provider is negligent and leaves the child in a vehicle. Two child deaths occurred in Houston last week, according to ABC news reports. One child was left in an SUV while the father worked for more than five hours. The temperature at the time was 91 degrees.

Facts About Children in Hot Cars

There are several factors that are involved in the deaths of children in hot vehicles. Children’s bodies are smaller and they heat up faster than bodies of adults. When the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees, the body’s organs begin to shut down. The National Safety Council (NSC) published a report last year. They found that a vehicle can become too hot for people very quickly. For example, when the temperature outside is 86 degrees, it takes only 10 minutes for the inside of the car to reach 105 degrees.

Children cannot be left in a vehicle for any length of time, especially in hot weather. Young children cannot verbalize their situation, and therefore, the dangers of leaving young babies under 2 years old in a car are of even greater concern. If you find your child was left in a hot vehicle, call paramedics immediately and they will assist in checking the infant for signs of trauma. There are some things you can do to help prevent leaving a child in a hot car.

Preventing Hot Car Deaths

Hot car deaths occur most often because the person forgets that there is a child in the back seat. Leave something, such as your purse, wallet, or phone in the back seat. This will require you to check the area before you leave your vehicle. Keep your vehicle locked to prevent kids from playing inside. Teach your kids to honk the horn if they are stuck in the car. If you see a child in a hot car, report it to the police immediately. If a child is missing, check the inside of all vehicles in the area. Kids find cars irresistible and like to play inside of them. New technology is available in some vehicles to alert drivers if there is an occupant in the rear seat.

Pets Are Also At Risk

The number of dogs that have been left in hot cars to their peril is astounding. Even when a window is cracked, the dog is at risk in the hot summer months. In only one hour, your car or pickup can heat up as much as 40 degrees hotter than outside tempurture in summer heat.

Don’t be sorry, be safe!

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