The Dangers of Leaving Kids in the Car

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Jun 16, 2015 in Car Accident News

  You pull up to the store on your way to take the kids to daycare and then to work. You need to grab something and you make a split-second decision: leave the kids in the car so you can do your business faster. You crack the windows and run into the store, only to return and find disaster has happened. All too often, horrible accidents occur because of these mistaken decisions.

Heat Stroke

Heatstroke can occur faster than you can imagine when kids are left in cars, even if you leave the windows open for them. The car works like a greenhouse; temperatures can skyrocket very fast. Over 600 kids in the United States have died in this fashion in the past 25 years. While that number may seem small, that's 600 people who would be here today otherwise. Within 30 minutes, the heat inside a car on a 72-degree day can reach 100 degrees. In an hour, it can reach 112 degrees. Heat stroke can occur when the body temperature hits 104 degrees, which can happen long before the surrounding atmospheric temperature gets that high.

Crashes

Kids who are not restrained, or get loose from their restraints, can cause accidents, sometimes by accidentally hitting the gear shift and sometimes by playing with auto controls. Leaving the car running so you can have the AC on presents even greater dangers as the kids may be able to access the gas pedal.

Trunk Entrapment

Many cars allow access to the trunk via the back seat. If your child stumbles upon this and gets into the trunk, there is a possibility they may pull the seat back up and become trapped. Once trapped in the trunk, not only is heat stroke an issue but the air can run out, leading to suffocation.

Physical Hazards

Safety features like seatbelts can be a hazard for kids loose and unsupervised in a car. The child can get his arm or foot caught, or the strap can wrap around their neck, causing serious injuries. Kids may also stick their heads out the window, and accidentally get stuck after activating the automatic controls to close it. The child may also get trapped between the seats, on the floor or even under the dash. Cars are a hotbed of physical hazards for unsupervised children.

Stranger Danger

Strangers are another major hazard for unsupervised children. Kidnappings from cars can and have happened. You can turn your back on your child for a brief period and in the blink of an eye, they are gone. It is never okay to leave your child unattended in a car. If your child's nanny, babysitter or caregiver does so and an accident happens, they can be held liable both for criminal and possibly financial damages. If you need representation from an experienced Nevada injury attorney in any situation involving a child left unattended in a car, we may be able to help. Read over our page on injuries to children and contact us for a consultation.