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Children Left in Hot Cars: Risk of Death

Kidsandcars.org, a national nonprofit organization created to raise awareness and to protect children in and around vehicles, reports that there have been a total of 26 deaths through August 2012, of children trapped in hot cars or vans, known as a vehicular stroke death. Good parents can make a tragic mistake that will haunt them forever. In many cases, it is a simple miscommunication between parents – one parent believed the other had brought the child into the home. When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a vehicle will increase to about 150 degrees within a short period of time, and even 10 or 20 minutes before the parents realize their error can result in the death of an infant or young child. Children die even in cooler weather when forgotten in cars or vans.

Vehicular Stroke

Cases of vehicular stroke death occur on an average of one every four days nationwide. It may seem impossible to forget your child in a car, but factually, any parent can make this error. Over 500 children have lost their lives through vehicular stroke over the past 14 years. In a huge majority of these cases, the parents were loving, responsible and upstanding citizens who were distracted by outside events and simply forgot their baby or young child was in the car. Children who live through intense heat in cars after being forgotten can suffer permanent brain damage.

Young Parents and Sleep Deprivation

Young parents are often sleep-deprived, adding to the possibility of making this tragic and deadly error. There are a variety of reminders that can be helpful, including having your work supplies or purse in the backseat with the child so that you are forced to check the backseat before you go into your place of work. If you are the parent of a young child, make it a habit to always check the backseat of your vehicle before you leave the car, even when you are certain that it is unnecessary. Making this backseat check part of your routine could save your child's life. Never leave your child inside your vehicle – even for a momentary stop.

Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC provides counsel in all types of injury claims, and their legal team includes a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.