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South Florida at High Risk of Child Heat Stroke Deaths

Temeratures are on the rise (if you can believe it’s getting even hotter), and with those increases comes a spike in the risks for heat stroke. We’re talking more than getting hot in the yard or on the job, we’re talking about leaving kids and pets inside an unattended vehicle.

It’s a mistake that even the most loving and caring parents and guardians can make and it can turn deadly in a matter of minutes.

According to MSN, there have already been 20 child deaths in the U.S. so far this year because they were left unattended in a vehicle. In 2012, there were close to 35 children who died in these horrific accidents.

Our Fort Lauderdale child injury lawyers understand that the heating dynamics of a car are much different other forms of transportation. Car windows actually act as a catalyst for rapid temperature increases. Windows let in the sun, and the sun is absorbed. And our vehicles have a lot of windows. Easily, the temperatures inside a car can become twice the temperatures of outside.

A lot of people believe that the color of the vehicle is the biggest factor in determining how fast a car will heat up, but it’s actually the inside of a vehicle that has more pull. Interiors with dark leather will heat up the quickest.

Unfortunately, pets and children face the most risks of heat stroke in these scenarios as they can’t cool their bodies as efficiently as adults. As a matter of fact, children heat up about five times quicker than adults.

Heat stoke happens when the human body reaches 104 degrees. At that point, the body hits survival mode and doesn’t perspire anymore. When it hits 107 degrees, body cells start to die. Here is when internal organs start to fail, and death happens quickly. This can all happen in a matter of minutes when left inside a hot vehicle.

A vehicle’s temperature can rise about 19 degrees in 10 minutes. In an hour or two, the in-car temperatures can rise by 50 degrees.

Currently, there are more states in the country that have laws on the books that stop people from leaving pets inside an unattended vehicle than have laws against keeping kids in an unattended vehicle.

Parents and guardians, you’re asked to check out the interior of your vehicle before locking up and walking away. It’s important you do something to remind yourself to check the backseat especially. This is where quiet, sleeping children are oftentimes (unintentionally) left behind. Consider leaving your purse or briefcase in the back seat of the vehicle. This way, you’ll be forced to check the back seat of the vehicle before getting out. You can also try leaving yourself a reminder in the front seat, like a post-it or a picture, for the reminder. If you see a child inside a vehicle unattended, call 9-1-1 immediately. Your call could wind up saving their life.

Call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Child Pedestrians Safety a Spring Focus in South Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 25, 2013

Unintentional Poisoning Leading Child Injury Cause, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 12, 2013

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