As we reach the peak of the summer heat an important message is being heavily publicized: look before you lock.
In 2014 more than 30 children, including a child in New York, died because they were left in hot vehicles. Heatstroke as a result of being left in a car is a preventable tragedy, says New York Governor Cuomo: “As outside temperatures continue to rise, we are urging New Yorkers to take extra precautions and remain aware and alert so we can keep our children safe and out of harm’s way.”
Experts urge parents to take the risks seriously. There is no guarantee that a child will be safe locked in a car for any amount of time, even just a few minutes.
What about parents who never leave their kids alone in the car- are their children still at risk? The answer is yes, absolutely. Of the fatalities in 2014, 30% of the children had gained access by themselves and became trapped.
Sheila Poole, New York State Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner said, ““It’s important to look before you lock. Make a habit of checking the back seat before walking away from your car. Infants and little children are particularly sensitive to extreme heat and their body temperatures can increase three to five times as quickly as an adult’s if they are left in a hot vehicle. Put an item you need at your final destination – such as a purse, wallet or briefcase – next to your child so you’ll have to check the back seat when you park the car.”
If you see a child locked in a hot vehicle, don’t wait more than a few moments to act. Call 911 and spray the child with cool water if possible.
We urge you; keep your little ones safe this summer and look before you lock.
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.