May 2013 Child Heatstroke Deaths Doubles Average–BE SAFE in St. Louis, Missouri
Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Zane Cagle
Last month the number of children who died from heatstroke in vehicles nearly doubled the average! There were 7 children who died in hot cars in 4 states in a 16-day period. All children were under two years of age and all were left by one of the family members.
Summer temperatures haven’t even really started to climb here in the Midwest and all the deaths occurred in Texas, North Carolina and Virginia. However, as temperatures heat up, parents and caregivers need to remind themselves of the danger of leaving their child in the car. In a short matter of time, the interior of a car can become deathly hot and cause the small child to have a heatstroke. “The worst thing any parent or caregiver can do is think that this could never happen to them, that they are not capable of inadvertently leaving their child behind,” says Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org. KidsAndCars.org is the leading national nonprofit for child safety organization working to prevent child injury and deaths in and around motor vehicles.
“This can and does happen to the most loving, responsible and attentive parents”, Fennel stated. Since KidsAndCars.org began tracking data, more than 675 children have died in these preventable tragedies.
We applaud the efforts of KidsAndCars.org and their safety tips for all parents and care givers. I use their “BE SAFE” acronym each time I get in and out of my car. It is a good practice whether you or another caregiver has the children. Just make it a habit and reduce the chances of something horrible happening to your young child. Children often fall asleep (if we are lucky) during car rides and it is easy for me to get sidetracked thinking about the things I need to get done or the clients that I need to talk to and if the kids are quiet, I, like most other parents get into my own world while driving—-it’s natural. But getting lost in your own world when it is time to get out can lead to deadly errors. Parents can overlook a sleeping baby in a car and forget that he/she is there, but the result can be seriou injury or even death.
I practice the slogan “Look Before You Lock” and BE SAFE each and every time I get out of my car. Your children at the most prized possession that you have and you think something like this could never happen—but as Fennel points out, it happens to the best of parents.
Back seat—Put something in the back seat so you have to open the back door when leaving the vehicle—put your cell phone, employee badge, handbag—something important that you cannot leave behind in the car
Every child should be correctly restrained in the back seat.
Stuffed animal- Move it from the car seat to the front seat to remind you when your baby is in the back seat.
Ask your babysitter or childcare provider to call you within 10 minutes if your child hasn’t arrived on time
Focus on driving—Avoid cell phone calls and texting while driving—this is good advice whether you have children in the car or not!
Every time you park your vehicle open the back door and make sure no one has been left behind.
While it seems like common sense to not leave your child in the car and many are horrified when I give out this safety advice, it happens to the best of parents. Maybe some days you take your child to daycare and others, your spouse does—easy to involved in the day and forget.
Making BE SAFE a routine every time in you get in and out of the car is really not time consuming and is just another layer of safety for child.
KidsAndCars.org focuses on safety of children in and around cars. Visit their website for many safety tips involving children and all types of non-highway injuries and deaths in order to raise awareness and reduce death and injury.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, you may need a personal injury attorney depending on the nature of your injuries. If you are not injured, then chances are, you do not need an attorney. However, if you have been injured, you may need an expert car accident attorney like our attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm. We are available seven days a week to answer your questions, toll free (314) 276-1681 or locally, (314) 276-1681
Source: May 2013 Nearly doubles Average Number of Child Heatstroke Deaths in Vehicles: 7 Children Die in Hot Cars in 4 States in 16-Day Period. KidsAndCars.org Press Release 6/3/13