Kids & Hot Cars and Your Risk for Injury in Southwest Florida

Safe Kids Worldwide and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently joined forces to help to keep kids out of hot cars.

The campaign, “Where’s baby? Look before you lock.,” focuses on raising awareness in parents, guardians and childcare providers about the risks associated with leaving kids in the car, no matter how “short” of a time it may be. Heatstroke is the number one cause of non-collision, vehicle-related fatalities for kids under the age of 14-years-old.

In just 2011, there were nearly 35 of these accident fatalities reported across the U.S.
mzajUqo.jpg Texas and Florida are the most dangerous states.

“Parents and caregivers are the first line of defense against heatstroke deaths and injuries, but everyone in the community has a role to play in keeping our children safe,” said USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

Our Naples child injury attorneys understand that many of these fatalities are actually accidents. Far too often, parents, guardians and caregivers exit their vehicle and just forget about the kid in the back seat. You might be thinking that this is one of the worst things you’ve ever heard, but the truth of the matter is that is happens to the most loving and caring adults. Campaigns like this one are extremely important in preserving the safety of our helpless passengers. This is especially important in warmer areas of the country, like the state of Florida. It only takes temps in the 80s for a car to reach deadly temps. Our young passengers are the most at risk too, as their bodies cannot handle temps like our adult bodies.

Since 1998, there have been at least 530 children killed in these kinds of accidents, from vehicular heatstroke. A majority of these accidents happened to kids who were under the age of 4.

While we know that more than 30 kids were killed in these accidents in 2010, there’s no way of telling how many were seriously injured as many incidents are never reported. Some of the injuries that can be sustained from being left in a hot vehicle include a loss of hearing, blindness and permanent brain injury.

These accidents can also happen after a child gets into a vehicle without the parent or guardian’s knowledge. For this reason, it’s important to teach children that cars are not play areas. These accidents are also a common result of when a driver who doesn’t usually transport children forgets to check the car before exiting. Many times, these children are infants who are sleeping in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat.

Safety Tips to Prevent These Accidents:

-Never leave your child in the car. You shouldn’t even do this if you’re only “running” in. Windows down and the air conditioner on are ineffective, too. Don’t even try it.

-Create the habit of looking in the back seat before you get out of the car, lock up and walk away.

-Inform your childcare provider or daycare center to get in touch with you in your child doesn’t show up as they’re expected.

-Keep something important in the back seat so you’re forced to look back before exiting.

-Teach kids that a vehicle is not a play area and keep your car keys out of a child’s reach.

Call today if you or your child has been injured in an accident. We offer free and confidential consultation to discuss victim’s rights. Call 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Defective Products in Fort Myers and Elsewhere Threatening Child Over Summer Break, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, May 31, 2012

Injuries to Children in Naples Likely with Florida Heat: Hyperthermia Risks, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, April 21, 2012

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