Last week a toddler — 22-month old Cooper Harris –dafter his father left him strapped in his car seat in a hot car for seven hours. Cooper died of hypothermia. The father said that he simply forgot to bring his son to daycare but the police are investigating the father for murder.
It is hard to imagine leaving a child or a pet in a car to die. Unfortunately, as many as 43 children die every year due to heatstroke. Most of the deaths occurred when parents or caregivers accidentally “forgot” the child. Children and pets can quickly develop heatstroke in a car so parents and care givers should never leave a child alone in a car even for 10 minutes.
The temperature inside a parked car can rise as much as 20 degrees in about 10 minutes. Heatstroke can occur when a body temperature reaches 104 degrees or above. Even the moderate climate of Western Washington can pose a threat in our warmer summer months.
Some good safety practices include:
- Never leave a child alone in a motor vehicle.
- Keep you vehicle locked so that your child doesn’t enter the car after you left it.
- Check your car before walking away from it.
- Store valuable items like a laptop, your cell phone or your purse in the rear seat so you remember to check the rear seat and the child sitting in it before you leave your car to go to work.
- Check with your child’s daycare if they have a policy of phoning parents if your child does not arrive to daycare.
- If you see an unattended child in a car, phone 9-1-1.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have died.