As the summer season quickly approaches, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would like to remind parents and caregivers about the dangers of leaving children alone in cars. Every summer, there are an increased number of serious injuries sustained by children who are abandoned in hot vehicles.
Last week, we reported the death of a 13 month-old in Lee's Summit, who died after being left in his mother's car all day. The mother reportedly believed she had already dropped the boy off at day care. On the same day, a 7 month-old died in Texas after being left in his father's pickup truck for several hours. In that instance, the father, who didn't normally transport the child to day care, "became distracted after dropping off the older kids," according to MSNBC. In general, more than half of children who die after being left in hot vehicles are simply forgotten by caregivers who were rushed or stressed.
NHTSA research illustrates the heightened risk of serious injury or death for children, accidentally or purposely, left in vehicles in the heat. Hyperthermia, or heat-stroke, is a leading cause of death for children under the age of 14.
Our Missouri personal injury attorneys would like parents to be extra cautious when exiting their vehicle during the summer months. Tragedies may also occur under the watch of babysitters, daycare centers, schools and summer camps. We urge you to talk with day care employees, school employees and caregivers to stress the important of checking for children when they leave their motor vehicles. You should ask that you be notified immediately if any of the parties notice that your child did not arrive on-time to a destination. According to NHTSA, at least 27 documented deaths caused by children being left in hot motor vehicles are reported each year.