According to experts, each year an average of 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. In a memorable demonstration, Los Angeles police officers gathered with local representatives and set up two cars – one with the windows closed and one with them cracked – to demonstrate just how fast each car heats up inside that could potentially be fatal to anyone inside.
The demonstration was conducted as an effort to deter parents from leaving their children in cars, as each year children suffer fatal heatstroke inside hot vehicles.
In about 12 minutes, a thermometer placed in the backseat of the car with the windows cracked jumped 32 degrees, to about 102 degrees. The vehicle without the windows cracked jumped to 120 degrees in the same time period. This was all before noon.
When a child’s body temperature reaches 104 degrees, organs begin shutting down. At 107 degrees, they die. Kids’ body temperatures rise between three and five times faster than adults.
Hudson Valley Magazine recommends the following to prevent hot-car related injuries and deaths:
- Always take your child with you when running into a store or elsewhere, even just for a few minutes.
- Never let your kids play in an unattended vehicle.
- Find a method to remind you when a child is in your back seat. Common precautionary systems include:
- Placing an important item, like a cell phone, purse, or briefcase near your child.
- Set a reminder to be sure you dropped your child off at school or daycare, or to check your back seat.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the car seat when your child is not with you. Move it to the front seat where you will see it when your child is with you.
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Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.