Warm temperatures are creeping in and so are the risks associated with heat and child injuries in Asheville and elsewhere. For this reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently launched a brand new campaign to help parents, babysitters, guardians and daycares to keep kids safe when traveling in motor vehicles.
It's aiming to keep kids out of hot cars and to help prevent hyperthermia or heatstroke-related injuries. The new campaign, "Where's baby? Look before you lock" is a beneficial reminder to parents and caregivers nationwide to thoroughly check the car before getting out and hitting the lock.
Our Asheville injury attorneys understand that the latest weather report indicates we're going to see temps in the 70s for a little while longer. You may not think that's too hot, but you'd sure change your mind if you were locked inside a parked car.
Just last year, there were nearly 35 kids under the age of 14 who died because they were left inside a vehicle by a parent, guardian or caregiver. These tragedies can be prevented with just a few extra seconds to check the car before getting out every time.
"Everything we know about this terrible danger - and the majority of these cases are accidental tragedies that can strike even the most loving and conscientious parents," said David Strickland, the Administrator for the NHTSA.
Throughout the next few weeks, safety officials with the NHTSA will be launching a number of online ads featuring the campaign's slogan, "Where's baby? Look before you lock."
After the campaign, officials will be looking into the effectiveness of aftermarket products that were designed to help children from being unintentionally left in a parked car. The findings will be released later this summer.
Heatstroke and hyperthermia can have some lasting effects on victims. Some of these injuries include irreversible brain damage, loss of eyesight, loss of hearing and even death.
To avoid one of these potentially fatal accidents, parents and caregivers are urged to:
-Don't let your child sit alone in a car -- ever -- not even if you'll only be away for a minute. It doesn't even matter if the air conditioning is on full blast and the windows are rolled down. It's all dangerous!
-Before you get out of your car every time, be sure to look in all seats, front and back, before locking the vehicle and walking away.
-Talk with your child's daycare center or childcare provider and ask them to get a hold of you if your child doesn't show up when they're expected to.
-Do things in your car to remind yourself to look around before getting out. It's a simple idea to keep a purse, a phone, a briefcase or another important item in the back seat so that you have to turn around and look back there before you can leave and lock.
-Never let children play around cars.
-Keep your household's car keys out of sight and out of reach of children.
The Lee Law Offices, P.A. represents parents and children who have been hurt in car accidents in Asheville and elsewhere throughout the Carolinas. If you, your child or someone you love has been injured or killed in an auto accident, call to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Defective Product in South Carolina Increasing Risks of Unintentional Poisonings, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 29, 2012
Kids Better Protected in South Carolina Car Accidents with New NHTSA Dummy, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 23, 2012