Advisory: Accident reminds parents of the dangers of leaving kids in cars

06/09/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

San Antonio, TX—A young child was tragically found unresponsive inside in the back seat of the family car on Friday, June 4, 2010. Family members thought he was inside the home around 3:00 p.m., and only realized he was missing around 7 p.m., as reported by KVUE.

The Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office reported the child, Asante Arellano, made his way into the vehicle and became trapped, unable to escape. Asante would have turned 3-years-old in August.

As we are reaching the summer months, parents need to take extra caution to prevent them from accidentally leaving their child inside their vehicles. Most children are left behind or forgotten in the vehicle, but in Arellano incident, the child was likely curious and was looking for a place to play., a national nonprofit child safety organization, stated last year alone, 33 children died in hot car accidents. In one report, it revealed an average hot car annual death rate of 37 kids. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported one child dies every 10 days in this country due to vehicular hyperthermia.

To keep from becoming a victim of hyperthermia, NHTSA release some helpful safety tips:

• Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

• Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.

• Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open or with the engine running and the air conditioning on.

• Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away.

• If you are bringing your child to daycare, and normally it’s your spouse or partner who brings them, have your spouse or partner call you to make sure everything went according to plan.

• Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for childcare. Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the vehicle, such as:

o Writing yourself a note and putting the note where you will see it when you leave the vehicle;

o Placing your purse, briefcase or something else you need in the back seat so that you will have to check the back seat when you leave the vehicle; or

o Keeping an object in the car seat, such as a stuffed toy. When the child is buckled in, place the object where the driver will notice it when he or she is leaving the vehicle.

• Always lock vehicle doors and trunks and keep keys out of children’s reach. If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk.

• If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call the police. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Warning signs may include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse, nausea or acting strangely. Cool the child rapidly. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for personal injury lawyers.

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