Summertime Dangers to Children – They Don’t Have to Happen

It happened again just days ago.  Another infant dies in a hot car.

It was in Evansville where a dad allegedly forgot to drop off his son at daycare.  When he returned to pick him up, his son was still in the car seat, according to a report from WTHR (Indianapolis).  The 3-year-old ended up dying in that seat.

While a lot of questions remain as to how a father could forget his son in the back seat of his car for a good part of the day when temperatures were in the mid-90s, one thing is clear: Temperatures inside a car in direct sunlight can reach between 130 to 172 degrees.  That’s enough heat to easily kill a child left unattended in the vehicle.

Twenty-one children already have died from heatstroke in cars since just the start of 2019, and more than 800 children have died from this preventable tragedy since 1998. On average, a child dies from vehicular heatstroke once every 10 days.

Many of these deaths were the tragic result of a parent or caretaker in a hurry and just forgetting.  It’s hard to believe, but it happens.   Other incidents are caused because the operator of the vehicle just took a chance and didn’t realize the impact intense heat can have on children, especially infants.

Consumer Reports has recently called on lawmakers in Congress today to support the Hot Cars Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation recently introduced in both the House and Senate that would require all new passenger vehicles in the U.S. to come with standard equipment designed to help prevent child deaths from heatstroke suffered in motor vehicles.

GMC already has made this special warning system a standard feature.

Basically, once you reach your destination and turn the vehicle off, you hear three beeps followed by a flashing message on the dash, reminding you to look in the rear seat.

Other options include stand-alone seat-alarms and apps that send constant alerts to check the back seat.

The best advice, however, is to be constantly aware of the temperatures inside a closed vehicle and never ever leave a child alone, even for just a few minutes.  If it’s not the heat, there are a number of other dangers that can result.

Take Care While Swimming

Similar advice is imperative for parents who allow their children to swim in a pool or at a beach in the summertime.  While it’s a fun and refreshing way to keep cool, tragedies can happen there as well.  We hear of too many deaths of children in the water after a parent or other guardian takes their eyes off the child for even a few seconds.

What’s more, there needs to be constant awareness of the damage direct sunlight can have on young swimmers.  Severe burns can result, turning a happy day into a very hurtful experience.

Always watch your kids and be sure they are not in the sun too long.  At the same time, be sure that proper sun protection is given, including sunscreen with a rating of at least SPF 50.

We at Tauber Law are a family of attorneys that have their own children and can easily empathize with parents who lose a child due to any kind of tragedy.  If a loss is due to the negligence of others, please contact us for a no-cost initial consultation.   We will determine if you have a case.  Nothing will replace a child, of course, but the attorneys at Tauber Law Offices will aggressively represent you so that at least some degree of justice can be served.