More than 840,000 parents, with nearly 1.5 million children, say they are comfortable letting their young children stay in a parked vehicle for longer than 15 minutes. Unfortunately, many children find their way into unattended cars and become trapped.
What’s worse is when parents or caregivers forget that they have a child in their vehicle, and leave them alone for too long on summer days. 2013 witnessed 44 deaths of children left in hot cars, and though summer has just begun, there have been 17 hot vehicle-related deaths in 2014 alone.
The personal injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham, S.C. ask parents, caregivers, and bystanders to be aware of this issue, and offer the following information and tips to avoid this preventable tragedy in our Milwaukee community.
- Never leave children alone in a vehicle for any period of time. A 70-degree day is as dangerous as a 90-degree day. Temperatures in a closed car can rise 20 degrees in ten minutes. Cracking a window is NOT sufficient.
- Know that on a warm or cool day, your car can easily be 120 degrees inside. Heat-stroke occurs five times faster in children under 3 years than in adults. When a child’s temperature reaches 107, it is deadly.
- Recruit friends, family members, or care providers to communicate drop-off and pick-up times. Communicating times avoids forgetting small children amiss the chaos. In most cases, parents and caregivers report forgetting a child in their vehicle when their day or schedule has been altered.
- Place shoes, bags, or any important item in the back seat next to children. Or, keep a stuffed toy in the child's car seat. When placing a child in the seat, move the toy up front as a reminder. By displacing your belongings, you are forced to acknowledge the back of the vehicle--and the child.
- Remember to always lock the doors and trunk of vehicles. Teach children that cars are dangerous placed to play. Kids can be easily trapped in vehicles especially with child locks. Keys should always be kept out of reach.
- Call 911 immediately if you see a child or pet unattended in a car. Be proactive, and look inside parked cars whenever you walk through parking lots. If you spot a child that looks in serious distress, check for a way into the car. If there is no way in, break a window that will not harm the child.
Not even this cooler summer has slowed the rising number of hot-car fatalities across the country. So, the personal injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham, S.C. advise the Milwaukee community to be safe and attentive this summer.
Please contact Hupy and Abraham, S.C. in the event of an unprecedented injury. Call for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation at 414-223-4800 or toll free at 800-800-5678.