Hot cars can cause death

When researching the topic ‘babies in cars’ I was shocked to find a blog in which a mother had put out a question to the general public asking ‘is it ever ok to leave a baby in the car‘. She stated that her baby had been lulled into sleep from a recent drive after fussing and she did not want to wake the child.

My response to this question is a resounding “NO” – it is never acceptable to leave a baby or children in a car while you ‘run a quick errand’. Leaving children in the car even one time sets a precedent – and the next thing you know it becomes a habit.

The mother in question finally decided to wake the child and take him with her because she was too ashamed to admit she’d left the baby in the car. Thank God for that. In the previous blog I noted that 2 children in recent days had been left in cars accidentally and one died.

While the details of it are gruesome -sharing just a few may make adults more cautious – and careful when it comes to their precious bundles.

On a hot day, even with car windows rolled down a bit, the inside temperature of your car can reach temperatures exceeding 140 degrees. Children are at a great risk for heat stroke, leading to high fever, dehydration, seizures, stroke, and death in a very short time.

Some years ago i handled a wrongful death case against a day care center that left a young girl in a hot van. It was a very heart breaking situation.

My advice – every time you step out of your car stop for a moment before you rush away and leave a child.

Do not leave your child in a hot car

Sometimes the topics that surface for this blog are haunting but sadly require airing. In the last several days two babies have been left in hot cars. One died, the other is hospitalized. Both adults are facing criminal charges – the first manslaughter, the latter child neglect.

It’s almost too ghastly to contemplate, but on occasion parents forget they have their little ones strapped safely into their car seats and in the hubbub of a busy life walk away leaving them to die of hyperthermia. This phenomenon is not limited to the uneducated child neglecter abusing drugs.

No, indeed, pediatricians, engineers, teachers and lawyers – loving and doting parents – are guilty of this as well.

According to Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Cars, a national nonprofit group that advocates for child safety, roughly 36 infants and children die annually in the U.S. due to being trapped in hot cars.

There are those who believe that parents who leave children in hot cars should not be prosecuted – their guilt is more punishment than any court could dole out. Let us save that discussion for another blog and offer some sound advice that may help parents prevent this from happening to them.

1) Starting today, keep a teddy bear or stuffed animal in your child’s car seat. Whenever your child is in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat as a visual reminder that your child is in the car.

2) Keep your lunch bag, employee badge or purse in the backseat. That way, you’ll always reach into your backseat or open your back door when you arrive at your destination.

3) Have an ironclad policy with your daycare provider that if your child does not show up, someone will call a provided list of contacts to confirm his or her whereabouts.