Yes, it seems like it’s always hot here in Southwest Florida, but the true heat is creeping up on us day by day. For that reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working to raise awareness about the increased risks for hyperthermia or child heatstroke in Naples and elsewhere. This is a common problem in Southwest Florida, parents or caregivers forgetting children in cars and leaving young ones in the hot, hot sun. Transportation officials are now pushing the first of its kind campaign “Where’s baby? Look before you lock” to help stop tragedies from occurring this summer.
Did you know that heatstroke is the number one cause of non-collision, vehicle related fatalities for kids under the age of 14? It’s true. These kinds of accidents took the lives of 33 kids in just 2011.
Our Naples child injury attorneys understand that parents don’t leave kids in the car intentionally. Sometimes parents just forget to check the back seat before getting out of the car and locking it up. When children are left in vehicles in the sun for too long they can experience injuries such as blindness, permanent brain injury, the loss of hearing, and death. Another common cause of these accidents is when children are permitted to play in and around unlocked vehicles.
“It is hope that the simple tips from this campaign will save lives and help families avoid unnecessary heartache,” said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.
Throughout the next few weeks officials with the NHTSA will be launching a number of radio and online advertisements to help raise awareness about the dangers of heat, cars and children and to push the “Where’s baby? Look before you lock” campaign.
There were 33 kids who died because of these accidents in 2011, according to the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences. While that illustrates a decrease from the number of fatalities from 2010, 49 deaths, it’s still a top concern for safety officials, especially as children are getting out of school soon and will be spending more time in the car with parents and guardians.
With the change in routine, from kids being in school to kids being in the car, it’s not unlikely for a caregiver to leave a child behind. Parents are urged to keep something in the front seat to remind them to check all seats before getting out and locking the car. You may think it’s silly, but it can help to save your child’s life.
Campaign Tips to Avoid a Heat-Related Auto Accident:
-Never leave a kid alone in the vehicle, even if the windows are down and the a/c is on.
-Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle before getting out. Do it every time.
-Consider keeping your purse or briefcase in the backseat to force yourself to look back there before getting out.
-Teach your child that cars are not play areas.
-Keep car keys out of reach of children.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm in Naples that is dedicated to representing those who have been the victim of personal injury in South Florida, including Naples, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Sebring. Call today to set up a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-283-2900.
More Blog Entries:
Child Injury in Fort Myers and Elsewhere Headed Off by Informed Consumers, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, March 28, 2012
Proper Car Seats Vital to Protecting Children in Fort Myers Car Accidents, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, March 26, 2012