Rising Temperatures – A Reminder to be Cautious
While temperatures are rising, signaling the arrival of summer, our Chicago personal injury attorneys remind you to be vigilant to avoid accidents that rise with the number on the thermometer.
Child Abuse or Neglect
Many parents do not realize the hazards of leaving children in vehicles in extreme temperatures, and that it can be considered child abuse or neglect in certain instances. Children have already died this year from being left in hot cars. In fact, yesterday three daycare workers were charged with cruelty to children, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct after they left a two year old inside a van following a field trip. According to the local Fox Network, “Police say the girl, Jasmine Green, died Monday after being left in the van for hours.” By the time the daycare workers realized the little girl was missing, it was too late.
Chicago personal injury lawyers know that this situation is, sadly, not uncommon during the summer months. “A car’s temperature can reach 125 degrees within a few minutes, even with the windows partially open. And a child’s body temperature rises more than three times faster than an adult’s, making them especially susceptible to dehydration, heat stroke and death,” according to the Charlotte Observer.
The Observer reports that “on average, 38 children a year die from heat-related causes after being left alone in cars, according to the child accident prevention group Safe Kids USA. Last year, 49 children died of heat-related causes after being left unattended in cars. About half the deaths were children younger than 2, according to Safe Kids.”
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys recommend making the following things part of your routine to avoid inadvertently leaving your child in the car unattended:
– Put your purse or briefcase in the back seat of the car. If you always have to look in the backseat to retrieve it, you will never forget your child is with you.
– Ask your child’s care provider to call if your child does not show up at school. Many child fatalities could be avoided if daycare centers called parents to inquire about children’s unexplained absences; sometimes parents forget to drop their kids off and accidentally leave them in their cars when they go to work.
– When your children are old enough, teach them never to play in or around vehicles. Many children sneak into their parents cars and get trapped; the parents do not know the children are in the car.
– Always lock your vehicle to avoid the above situation.