Car accidents don’t always refer to collisions. There are many other risks associated with our vehicles. One of the most dangerous is child injury, especially here in the Sunshine State.
According to CNN, there have been at least 8 child fatalities this year resulting from kids being left in hot vehicles. Most of these children were babies and toddlers under the age of 2.
Our Vero Beach injury lawyers understand that the latest of these fatal accidents happened right here in Florida — a 2-year-old from Escambia was tragically killed. His grandfather accidentally left him in a vehicle. When he was found, four hours later, he was lying on the floorboards of the vehicle and had already passed away. It was 92 degrees outside and the windows of the vehicle were rolled up.
Most of these accidents are just that — accidents! Parents and caregivers simply “forget” the child in the backseat. Unfortunately, it’s oftentimes too late by the time they realize their mistake.
“Child heatstroke in a hot car can happen to any caregiver from any walk of life, even to the most loving and conscientious parents,” said Administrator Strickland with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Since 1998, the Department of Geosciences reports that there have been more than 565 children who have been killed in these kinds of accidents. On average, 38 kids are killed in these accidents each year. The risks and incident rates for these accidents usually rise starting in the month of May.
But there are ways that you can help to reduce these risks. Read the following safety tips and share them with friends, family members and caregivers to make sure this tragic accident doesn’t strike your family.
Quick Safety Tips:
-Always check your backseat before exiting your vehicle. You should set a reminder in the front seat to help you to do this. Place a stuffed animal, a sticky note or another kind of reminder to get your to check the back of your vehicle before locking up and walking away.
-Never keep your keys in reach of children and never allow them to play in or around a vehicle that’s unattended.
-Don’t even leave your child in a vehicle for a “few” minutes — not even while it’s running and/or the windows are down.
-Discuss these tips when the people who may be driving your child. Talk with babysitters, daycare centers and other childcare providers.
-Keep an important item — one that you need — in the backseat so you’re forced to get out and to go into the back seat to get it before leaving your vehicle. This will help you to check the back seat every time.
-Make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. Be certain no one is accidentally left behind.
-If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 right away!
If you or your child has been injured in an accident, call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Child Pedestrians Safety a Spring Focus in South Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 25, 2013
Unintentional Poisoning Leading Child Injury Cause, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 12, 2013