Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member andpartner
Whenever news of a child suffering from hyperthermia and dying after being
left in a hot car, everyone expresses shock and dismay over the incident.
Such tragic incidents occur frequently enough to make heatstroke the "leading
cause of non-crash related vehicle deaths for children under the age of
14, representing 61% of non-crash related fatalities in this age group."
American Automobile Association’s (AAA) issued a press press release
on July 9,2013 about such avoidable and terrible tragedies. "To avoid such senseless
tragedies, never leave a child unattended in a car, even if the windows
are tinted or down. Period. Paragraph,” said John B. Townsend II,
AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “The
temperature in a parked vehicle can quickly rise to lethal levels even
on a cloudy or overcast day. What’s more, don’t allow children
to play in unlocked, parked vehicles and never leave car keys where children
have access to them.”
"For this reason, hyperthermia awareness needs to be a 365-day top-of-the
mind operation, advises the auto club. Keep in mind; temperatures inside
a car on a day with outside temperatures in the mid-to-high 90’s
can quickly soar to nearly 200 degree. That’s hot enough to cook
many foods and to kill most living things. Heatstroke can occur in temperatures
as low as 57 degrees, according to
never leave children inside a parked car, and the same thing applies to the elderly
and to pets on these wickedly hot days. If you do see a child or pet locked
in a car and cannot find the owner of the vehicle, call 911 immediately.
To avoid the horrors of inadvertently leaving a child in a hot vehicle
during the dog days of summer, parents and caregivers should use reminders,
advises AAA Mid-Atlantic. For example, when you first place a child in
a car seat in the back seat of the car, also open the glove compartment
door, flip down the passenger side visor or put a purse in the back seat.
“These actions can serve as visual reminders that a child is in
the back seat.”
In addition, the following safety tips are recommended by
NHTSA to help prevent the risk of serious injury or death to children left in cars:
- "Never leave a child alone in a car – even with the windows
partially opened – as a vehicle’s interior can still heat
up quickly to deadly temperatures.
- Do not leave your children alone in a running vehicle with the air conditioner
on even for a few minutes; your child may put the car into drive or even
get caught in a closing power window, not to mention that you increase
the risk of your car being stolen and your child abducted.
- Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before
locking the door and walking away. Children have died because they fell
asleep in their car seats and their parents didn’t realize they
were still in the car.
- If your spouse or a guardian is taking your children to daycare ask them
to call you to make sure the drop-off went according to plan.
Do things to remind you that a child is in the vehicle:
- Place your purse, briefcase or something else you need in the back seat
where your child is seated so that you will have to check that area when
you leave the vehicle.
- Leave a written note in your vehicle where you will see it as you leave
the vehicle, such as on the dashboard area.
- Keep an object in your child’s car seat, such as a stuffed toy. When
the child is buckled in, place the object where the driver will notice
it when leaving the vehicle, as a reminder that a child is in the back seat.
- Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle – teach them
that a car is not a play area; always lock your car doors and keep car
keys out of children’s reach."
Please be safe.
Do you have questions about this post?
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial
Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan
Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer
of the Year" (2011). He has been rated by
Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also
describes him as
"one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident
claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and
work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against
truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority,
and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest
settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri
has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by
Best Lawyers (2013 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by
Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2013)– national publications that honor the
top lawyers in America.
If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email
Mr. Zambri at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 202-822-1899.