Don’t Leave Your Child in A Hot Car!
This week has been a hot one. Throughout New Jersey and the Northeastern United States, temperatures have been in the nineties, nearing triple digits in many places. While it may seem too hot to accomplish anything, people must try to accommodate for the heat and function as they typically do on an everyday basis. However, blistering temperatures can make one do anything but function normally.
Let’s talk about a story that happened recently in Long Island. A mother left her 2-year-old son unattended in her vehicle with the windows up and the car off. Even though the boy was in the vehicle for a short amount of time, law enforcement had to show up and rescue him, sending him to the hospital thereafter.
The mother who left her son in the sweltering vehicle is facing a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. This situation could have been much worse if law enforcement showed up later or not at all. The young boy might have even died from the increased temperatures. The moral of this story is to not leave your child in a hot car unattended, and we will explain why if it doesn’t seem obvious enough.
Facts You Need to Know
According to a report from the National Safety Council, 37 children die each year from what they call pediatric vehicular heatstroke (PVK). In 2017, 43 children died as a result of PKV, and all of the deaths could have been prevented.
Many parents are misinformed when it comes to actually believing they could never forget leaving their child in a vehicle, but it’s easier than one thinks. In 50 percent of these cases, a person who is responsible for a child’s death unknowingly left them in the vehicle. It can happen to anyone, even the most caring of parents.
When it’s extremely hot outside, the inside of a vehicle can heat up very quickly. Even when the windows are cracked open, the inside temperatures can reach 125 degrees or more in minutes. The majority of the temperature increase often happens within just ten minutes and cracking the windows open won’t do anything to decrease the temperature of your vehicle.
When unfortunate outcomes are the result of a child being left inside a hot car, there can be multiple contributing factors as to why children are left in the car:
- Rear-facing car seats look the same if there is a child inside or not
- Young children may fall asleep, becoming quiet
- Memory issues or being distracted
- Change in a parent’s daily routine such as lack of sleep, stress, etc.
Preventing Tragedy from Happening
To avoid outcomes that result in tragedy, we have found numerous prevention and safety tips, some common and some not so much, to educate parents across New Jersey.
First and most obvious, you should never leave a child unattended in a vehicle no matter the weather conditions. Don’t think twice about leaving them alone, not even for a minute. As a parent, you should get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make it a reminder on your phone if you must.
One of the more interesting tips we came across was keeping a large stuffed animal in a child’s car seat. When a child is put into the car seat, remove the stuffed animal and put it in the front seat of the vehicle. The stuffed animal will serve as a visual reminder that there is a child in the vehicle.
Then there are your more common safety tips, such as keeping your vehicle locked at all times, keeping your car keys out of your child’s reach, and contacting law enforcement in case of an emergency. If your child stays with a babysitter or another type of daycare provider, you should also relay some of the information you read today with him or her.
We Are Here to Help
If this type of incident happens to you or a loved one, you are going to have more questions than answers. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone is here to answer any questions you have and provide legal representation if necessary. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.