Parents, daycare centers and other caregivers need to be aware of added risks that young children face during the summer months in Atlanta, Duluth, Savannah and surrounding areas of Georgia. In addition to an increased chance of pedestrian accidents, bicycle collisions, and drowning, an experienced personal injury lawyer knows that kids can also be permanently injured or even killed as a result of being accidentally left inside a hot vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that there are steps that should be taken to reduce the chances that a child will be left inside a hot car. If anyone sees a child inside a vehicle unattended, police should be contacted immediately to help ensure that the child is OK. A child exposed to excessive heat should be removed from the vehicle immediately. In cases where caregiver negligence was a factor in causing the child to be left inside a hot car, the caregivers may also be held civilly and criminally liable for damage done to the child and family.
Children Face Risks Inside of Hot Vehicles
Since 1998, there have been at least 637 fatalities when children were left inside of vehicles that got too hot. Last year, another 30 children were killed because they were trapped inside of an overheated vehicle. Many of the children were left in cars, carseats, buses or vans by parents, daycare centers and other caregivers who transport children. In some cases, the kids became trapped inside of a car when they went outside to play in the vehicle without their caregivers being aware of what the children were doing.
A child can suffer traumatic brain injuries and fatal injuries in a hot vehicle in a very short period of time. Even on a day when the temperature has climbed to the low-80s, the temperature inside a car takes only around 10 minutes to reach a deadly level. A child whose body temperature climbs to 107 degrees or higher is going to begin suffering brain damage that can result in cognitive impairment, deafness and blindness. A few minutes of elevated body temperature is going to result in death. Children under the age of four are at the greatest risk because they are least able to regulate their internal body temperature.
Parents and caregivers should take steps to reduce the chances that a child will accidentally be left inside a hot car. Bus drivers, daycare centers and other facilities that transport children should always do a head count to make sure all kids have gotten off the bus, van, or other vehicle whenever the vehicle stops.
Parents should also make sure that they get into the habit of checking the back seat of their vehicle and can even leave a purse or briefcase in the back seat so they remember to check. Children also need to be taught that the car is not a safe place to play and warned to stay out of vehicles when they are not in the car with a parent or other caregiver.
Call the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. at 1-800-898-HAYS or visit www.garymartinhays.com to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in Atlanta, Duluth, Savannah or surrounding areas of Georgia.