There has been a lot of press surrounding a recent Cobb County toddler’s death in a hot car. Leaving a child in a hot car for even a brief period is extremely dangerous. The temperature in a car increases 20 degrees in 10 minutes in the sun. When the outside temperature in just the 60s, the interior of a car can reach 110 degrees. In the summer heat in Georgia, the temperature is brutal. A child’s body can heat up seven times faster than an adult’s, so heatstroke can occur in a car even when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees.
It is important to focus on ways that we can prevent tragedies of child heatstroke. The following are steps that you can take to make sure a momentary lapse of attention does not turn into a parent’s worst nightmare.
- Always keep a stuffed animal in the car seat, and move it to the front passenger seat when your child is in the car. This provides a simple visual cue to remind you that the child is in the car when you park. Always put the stuffed animal back in the car seat when you arrive at your destination.
- Keep the diaper bag in the front seat. If it is still in the car when you arrive at your destination, you will know that you need to bring your child.
- Put something important you will need in the backseat next to your child’s car seat. It will make you look in the back seat as you leave the car, adding an extra failsafe. This can be a purse, a wallet, or your cellphone.
- Establish a system where someone always calls or texts you to check in on the child when you change your routine. This can be the other parent, a grandparent, or a friend. While this may seem over the top, it is a safeguard for your child.
- Ask daycare to call both parents if your child is not dropped off at the usual time. Having this backup plan can save your child’s life and most childcare centers want to help.
- Consider installing new devices that remind you about the car seat in the back. There are alarms that can be set and other devices you can buy that remind you of your child. You can find some device to use in your own car.
Some of these methods may be repetitive, but there is nothing more important than ensuring your child’s safety. The most important thing that you can remember is to never leave a child alone in a car even for a brief moment to run into the store. Cracking the windows will not prevent heatstroke and there are many other dangers for a child strapped in a car seat alone. With a few small prevention measures, you can make sure that this tragedy never happens to your family.
In the event of a catastrophic event or wrongful death, hiring an experienced attorney, like Van Sant Law, can give you the answers that you need. Call Van Sant Law LLC for a free consultation to discuss your options.