When the heat gets nearly unbearable in Florida, it makes it difficult to want to do anything outside. However, adults often don’t have a choice when it comes to running errands, going grocery shopping, or doing anything that involves getting in the car and driving around. With children in tow, being outside in the heat can be even more difficult. While most parents understand that leaving a child in a car on a hot day is extremely dangerous, there are still some who ignore this commonsense fact and do it anyway. Children’s body temperature can overheat 3-5 times faster than adults. Unfortunately, this can cause the child to overheat, resulting in serious injuries and even death, due to dehydration and heatstroke.
Members from Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin recently participated in a child safety expo where we detailed the importance of making sure children (and pets) are not left in cars. On a day reaching high temperatures, even just a few minutes of time inside an enclosed space can cause irreversible harm to a child.
Consider the following safety tips to avoid this situation:
Put a Bag or Purse in the Back Seat
This isn’t the case for all parents, but there are times when they may forget that they have a child who is sleeping in the back seat or a child getting in a car without the parent knowing. By putting your bag, purse, or any other important item in the back seat, you are forced to check there before you get out to go in the store or run your errands. This helps you make sure to take your most important valuables, your children.
If you notice that there is a child alone in a vehicle, you should contact the authorities right away. Some people hesitate to do this because they feel guilty about what could happen to the parent. However, if you fail to notify police, much worse can happen to the child left in the car. He or she can suffer heat stroke, which can result in long-term physical damage and in some cases can be fatal. Call 911 as soon as possible to have them come out and remove the child from the car.
Use a Drive-Thru
Many places, like restaurants, pharmacies, and the post office now have drive-thru access for the sake of convenience. If you are planning on going somewhere without a drive-thru, take your child inside with you regardless of how you feel they may be acting or how long you may be.
Our Florida injury attorneys are determined to help individuals stay safe during the hot summer months, especially young children who are more susceptible to injury. We remind you to be mindful of your child’s safety and even that of your pet. It is HOT out there, keep an eye on them at all times in the summer heat.