Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on August 7th, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

7 Children Die Due to Heat Stroke – Awareness – Ways to Avoid Tragedy in St. Louis, Missouri

Posted on August 7th, 2012 by Zane Cagle

Could awareness, technology and education prevent future deaths this summer?Seven children have died in the five day span of August 2-6, 2012 due to heat stroke. This is appalling and tragic because it is so avoidable.

Could awareness, technology and education prevent future deaths this summer?

Families in Arkansas, Florida, New Mexico and Tennessee will forever have their lives changed as a result of last week’s tragedies.  According to KidsAndCars.org, a national non-profit organization working to prevent injuries and death of children in and around motor vehicles, the following deaths occurred:

August 2, 2012 – In Smyrna, Tennessee a boy, age 3 and girl, age 2, died after being left in their mother’s vehicle.

August 2, 2012 – In Tamarac, Florida, a 2 yr-old died after being left behind in a daycare van.

August 3, 2012 – In Springdale, Arkansas, a 2 yr-old boy died after being left in his great-grandparent’s vehicle.

August 3, 2012– In Newport, Arkansas, a 16 month old girl died in a hot vehicle.

August 4, 2012 – in Benton County, Arkansas, a 3-yr-old boy died after getting into a vehicle and not being able to escape

August 6, 2012 – a 2-yr-old boy died after being left in a daycare parking lot

Why would we talk about such tragic deaths of children in our blog?

Awareness, awareness and education…..According to joint efforts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and KidsAndCars.org, a study was just completed. The deaths just occurred at the end of the study.  Several safety methods and consumer products tests were conducted, but Fennell of KidsAndCars.org recommends some safety precautions for parents and care givers to add an extra layer of safety along with their “Look Before You Lock”.  It is the BE SAFE safety precautions as recommended by KidsAndCars.org:

Back seat – Put something in the back seat so you have to open the door when leaving the vehicle- cell phone, employee badge, handbag, etc

Every child should be correctly restrained.

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 child-care provider to call you within 10 minutes if your child has not arrived on time

Focus on driving – Avoid cell phone calls and texting while driving

Every time you park your vehicle, open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind.

One product KidsAndCars.org mentions is the TOMY International The First Years True Fit. While I have not seen safety reports on this particular child safety seat, the best feature is the IAlert monitor installed on it.  If a child is left in the car seat when the vehicle is not in motion, an alert is sent to the caregiver’s cell phone.

You say, how can someone leave their kid in the car when it is 100 degrees outside?So, how does this happen?  You say, how can someone leave their kid in the car when it is 100 degrees outside?  I’ve heard some say that is unfathomable to them.  Scenario: What if you and another caregiver trade out days of the commute to the babysitter and you get busy conducting business on your cell phone while driving to work..…….your baby goes to sleep……getting into the office on time and thinking about what you are going to do when you get there goes to the forefront of your mind…you completely forget this is your day to drop children off at the caregiver.  This same scenario happens more likely than you like to think. It is one of parent’s worst nightmares……The idea of harming your own child is repugnant.

You take care of your kids making sure they heat healthy, install safety locks on all of your doors and cabinets and maybe you are vigilant and have baby monitors and every safety gadget in the store…..is not possible in this scenario that you might forget a sleeping, quiet baby?

KidsAndCars.org sees these tragedies daily.  If you visit their site, you will see hundreds of stories of that very thing that happened to many good parents.  Rarely……………….does a parent leave their baby in the car to suffer heat stroke on purpose. This blog is not directed to those very few parents but the majority of us that parent every day and look out for the very best for our children. Hell, we work several jobs sometimes just to give them the best.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world and the most rewarding….no parent will argue with that.  By utilizing safety precautions such as BE SAFE is not an indicator that are a bad parent or that you might purposely leave your child in the car to die.  Utilizing BE SAFE is just like putting caps on your electrical outlets and putting medication on the top shelf.

Awareness and education is the only way to prevent these completely preventable tragedies.  When parents and caregivers hear of these tragedies and just try to imagine the horrendous outcome if it were to happen to them….then our blog purpose has been accomplished. If one more child’s needless death can be prevented through awareness…..where do I sign up?

Our St Louis personal injury lawyers from The Cagle Law Firm represents the victims of serious accidents. We also seek to promote health, education, and safety in our community. If you have suggestions or feedback to promote the preventable accidents of children in and around motor vehicles, please comment or share on our Facebook page. Feel free to call Zane T. Cagle for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident.