With summer just around the corner, it is worth a post to remind everyone that leaving a child inside a hot car can be deadly. Last year at least 49 children died of heatstroke while trapped in a vehicle.
According to a recent article from AAA, on a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can climb to 130 degrees within just a few minutes. Parking in the shade, tinted windows or leaving some windows cracked open doesn’t doesn’t help if the car is closed.
Many states, such as California, have enacted laws to prevent such tragedies. An adult driver will be held liable for leaving children unattended inside a motor vehicle, when there are conditions that could put the children’s safety at risk. Such conditions include hot weather, leaving the engine running or leaving keys in the ignition. If you see a child locked in a hot car, call 911 for emergency assistance.
What is so sad about these fatalities is that they are all preventable. A parent may decide to leave the kids inside a car while she uses the ATM machine, expecting to be back in a minute. Then the ATM isn’t working, and she has to go inside and get cash from a teller. Then the quick run turns into a long wait because a person in front of her has problems with his account …… so the best practice is, never leave a child unattended inside a car, not even for a minute.
Another common case is that the driver simply forgot the child in the back seat. I remember reading a story a few years ago about a father going to work, leaving a sleeping baby inside his car in the parking lot. AAA suggests that people should train themselves to always check the backseat before exiting their vehicle.
Many families are now planning for summer vacations or road trips. I just wanted to wish everyone a good time, and please stay safe.