Leaving a Child in a Hot Car Can Lead to Regret
One of the worst things a parent can experience is the death of a child. Sadly, accidents happen every day, contributing to that painful loss. However, in recent years there has been an increase in a certain type of “accident” that need not happen, and one your car insurance company can’t fix. Leaving a small child in a locked or even unlocked car on a hot day can lead to only two things – tragedy and a lifetime of regret.
First, you have to realize that, in only 10 minutes, the temperature in a hot car can rise over 20 or more degrees. Even with an exterior temperature of 60 degrees, your car’s interior temperature can reach 110 degrees. Putting that in perspective, a child dies when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees. That’s due to the fact that children overheat up to five times faster than adults.
Child heatstroke is extremely dangerous – with severe injury and even death as the end result. And, if the death is a result of negligence on your part, you could be arrested and jailed.
Unfortunately, even good parents can get distracted and forget they’ve left a child in a car’s back seat. Caregivers, who don’t routinely drive kids, are prone to forgetfulness as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), heatstroke is one of the U.S.’s leading causes of death among young children. If you’ve left your child in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, here are some of the warning signs of heatstroke:
• Your child is red, hot, and moist or dry skinned
• They aren’t sweating
• They have a strong, rapid pulse or a slow, weak one
• Suffer from nausea
• Exhibit confusion or strange behavior
If you witness any of these symptoms in your child, immediately take him to the nearest hospital or call 911 for faster response.
Remember, the risk of potential tragedy is preventable. There are three important rules to follow to reduce that risk and they are:
1. Never leave a child alone in a car – Even if it’s for a few minutes, it’s never okay to leave a child alone in a car. Opening the windows won’t prevent heatstroke on a hot day. It can happen on a cloudy day with the temperature outside below 70 degrees. Not only that, but open windows can lead to someone removing your child from your car and walking away with them, creating another potential tragic event.
2. Always double check the car before you lock it and walk away – Simple and only takes a few seconds. Don’t walk away until you’re sure your child has been removed from the back seat. Keep a reminder, such as a stuffed animal, in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat to remind you that your child is in the back seat. And, if someone else is driving your child, check that your child has arrived at his destination safely. Be a responsible parent, call their keeper if necessary.
3. Take immediate action if you see a child alone in a locked car – Only wait a few minutes for the driver to return. If they don’t return after a safe amount of time…get involved. “Good Samaritan” laws are written to protect those who offer assistance in an emergency. If the child is unresponsive or in distress, immediately call 911. Get the child out of the car if possible and spray them with cool water if their temperature is elevated. If the child is responsive, stay with them until help arrives. Send someone into the facility where the car is parked and have them page the driver or parent.
So, review these three rules and do your part to prevent a family tragedy by sharing this information with others.
Another simple rule to follow is to make sure you’re getting the best rate on your car insurance. Why not get a free car insurance quote today?
Would you ever get involved to help get a small child out of a hot car? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below