We are trying to raise awareness of an extremely dangerous practice that kills children every day. Join Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. on July 31st for National Heatstroke Preventional Day.
In an article from the Washington Post, they delve into “Death by hyperthermia” and the aftermath for the parents. I truely recommend reading it – it is a hauntingly sad and beautifully written article.
“When it happens to young children, the facts are often the same: An otherwise loving and attentive parent one day gets busy, or distracted, or upset, or confused by a change in his or her daily routine, and just… forgets a child is in the car. It happens that way somewhere in the United States 15 to 25 times a year, parceled out through the spring, summer and early fall.”
I was alarmed to find out that leaving a child in a hot car happens more often than you think. Such tragic incidents occur frequently enough to make heatstroke the “leading cause of non-crash related vehicle deaths for children under the age of 14, representing 61% of non-crash related fatalities in this age group.” As reported on kidsandcars.org – the number of children who have died in the past several years are alarming:
¢ Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2013 as of 7/10/13: 21 (+ 2 in Canada)
¢ Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2012: 32
¢ Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2011 : 33
¢ Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2010: 49
¢ Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2009: 33
¢ Child vehicular heat stroke deaths to date (as of 5/21/13), well over 650
¢ Average number of child vehicular heat stroke deaths per year since 1998: 38 (one every 9 days)
¢ The highest number of fatalities for a one-year time period took place in 2010: 49
To avoid such senseless tragedies, never leave a child unattended in a car, even if the windows are tinted or down. Period. The temperature in a parked vehicle can quickly rise to lethal levels even on a cloudy or overcast day. What’s more, don’t allow children to play in unlocked, parked vehicles and never leave car keys where children have access to them. For this reason, hyperthermia awareness needs to be a 365-day top-of-the mind operation. Heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees, according to SaferCar.gov.
Again, never leave children inside a parked car. If you do see a child locked in a car and cannot find the owner of the vehicle, call 911 immediately.
To avoid the horrors of inadvertently leaving a child in a hot vehicle during the dog days of summer, parents and caregivers should use reminders. For example, when you first place a child in a car seat in the back seat of the car, also open the glove compartment door, flip down the passenger side visor or put a purse in the back seat. In addition, the following safety tips are recommended by NHTSA to help prevent the risk of serious injury or death to children left in cars:
Please be safe and aware!