Parents across the United States are becoming more aware of the dangers of leaving children locked in hot cars. A recent Georgia case, in which a 22-month-old child died after remaining locked in a car while his father worked all day, has led to widespread outrage and concern.
The father claims he forgot his son was in the car when he arrived at work. The temperature climbed to 92 degrees that day, bringing the car’s interior temperature to up to 140 degrees. When he returned to his vehicle at the end of the day, the child had died. Law enforcement officials continue to examine evidence from the vehicle and cell phone and other belongings. Search histories from his computer reveal an apparent interest in living “child-free” and in how hot a car’s interior must be to kill a child, suggesting the father will likely face charges for his potentially intentional acts.
Although the vast majority of parents have no intention of harming their children, busy lifestyles and unfamiliarity with the risks to their children may lead to behaviors that inadvertently compromise child safety. To raise awareness about the dangers of hot cars and help parents and caregivers keep their children out of harm’s reach, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has spearheaded a new campaign.
“Where’s Your Baby? Look Before You Lock” seeks to educate adults about the hazards of leaving children unattended in hot cars. Their internet and radio initiative provides tips such as:
• Never leaving a child unattended in a vehicle
• Checking the front and back of a car before locking it
• Hiding car keys from children and keeping them from playing in cars
• Arranging with daycare providers to call if a child never arrives
The rush to get to a destination on time – or the convenience of leaving a child in a car – is never worth the dangers to their life and health. If someone’s negligence has led to your child’s injury or death in a hot car, contact a DC personal injury attorney to seek justice for yourself and your child. What precautions have you taken to keep your young children out of hot cars?