Kids, Cars, and Heat-Related Tragedy in Miami and South Florida

In 2018 so far, there have been 35 fatalities caused by children being left behind in cars. These tragedies can be prevented, and it is especially important that parents in Miami and across South Florida be aware of the problem, since temperatures can be so high in this part of the country.

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There are many factors which can contribute to this tragedy. One is that children are small and are usually kept in the rear seat for their own safety. This can make them easy to overlook in the rear-view mirror and when you walk away from the car, especially if they fall asleep. In addition, children are more susceptible than adults to overheating, so even a short while in a hot car can be fatal.

There are many things you can do to help keep your children safe:

1) Never leave your child in a car, even just for a second. Due to what is known as a greenhouse effect, the temperature inside a car can reach temperatures of over 124 degree in just a few minutes. It does not matter if you crack a window or park in shade; the temperature is still too high.

2)  Don’t believe in the myths and stigma. Many parents believe that they would never leave a child in a hot car, but it easily happens because of distraction or stress. Talk to other parents about the problem and make sure you take precautions to prevent this tragedy from affecting your children.

3) Keep communication strong. If you drop your child off at any caregivers regularly, have a policy in place that the caregiver will contact you if your child is not dropped off without explanation.

4) Get into the habit of checking your rear seat. When you exit the car, walk around the car once. Not only will you be able to possibly avoid a tragedy, but it helps you keep an eye on any mechanical issues which could affect your safety and the safety of your passengers.

5) If you have a child in the car, have a visual reminder of the fact. Some parents place a teddy bear in the front passenger seat of their car and place the teddy back in the rear seat when there is no child there. Others place their wallet, cell phone, purse, or anything else they need all day everyday under the child seat to remind them to check the rear seat. These tactics can push you to check in the rear seat so you can notice your child in their seat.

6) Be vigilant about changes to routine. Most heat-related fatalities in cars occur when there is a change in routine—when a parent has to take a different route to work or when someone else has to drop off or pick up a child. If there is any variation in your usual routine, get someone to check in with you or set up an alert on your phone to double-check you have dropped your child off safely.

If a caregiver has harmed your child by leaving them in a hot car or if your child has suffered any injury due to someone’s negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) to speak to a childhood injury attorney in Miami. Your first consultation is free and comes with no obligation.

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