Hyperthermia a concern in hot temperatures, especially for children in unattended vehicles in North Carolina

Hyperthermia accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere throughout the country are a common cause of non-crash deaths for children under the age of fourteen.

Charlotte car accident attorneys know how dangerous it is to leave a child in a hot vehicle because their small bodies can’t adapt to the hot temperatures. The inability to sweat or keep the body cool can lead to heat stroke, heat exhaustion or other heat-related illnesses that can often be fatal. Caregivers, babysitters and daycare centers have a responsibility to keep children safe by not leaving them alone in an unattended vehicle, even if only for a minute.
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Already in 2011 there have been two reported child fatalities as a result of being left in a hot vehicle, according to the Department of Geosciences. The average number of child deaths in vehicles in the U.S. related to hyperthermia since 1998 is 38 per year; reporting a total of 496 from 1998-2010.

The data indicates there are three primary reasons for a child vehicular hyperthermia death during the period of 1998 through 2010. Caregivers have forgotten children in 51 percent of reported deaths, 30 percent of children died while playing in an unattended vehicle and 17 percent were left in the vehicle intentionally by the adult.

In 2009, there was one reported child hyperthermia-related motor vehicle death in North Carolina. In 2008, there were four reported deaths in North Carolina. In 2007, there were three reported hyperthermia deaths of children in vehicles in South Carolina. From 1998-2010, North and South Carolina each reported 19 child vehicular hyperthermia deaths during that time period.

With temperatures rising, and the dead heat of summer on its way, the U.S. Department of Transportation want to remind caregivers, babysitters, daycare centers and parents not to leave children alone in the vehicle. The following safety tips are recommended to prevent hyperthermia:

-Teach your children that a vehicle is not a play area and that they should never play inside a vehicle.

-Looking in the front and back seat before you lock the door and walk away should be habitual.

-Infants or children should never be left alone in a running vehicle with the air conditioning on or the windows down.

-If you routinely drop your child off at daycare, have the facility call if your child doesn’t arrive on time for childcare.

-Leave a reminder note in a visible place or leave your purse or briefcase in the back seat where your child is so you remember to not leave them alone in the car.

-Keep your keys out of the reach of children after locking all doors and the trunk.

-Children view cars as good hiding places so if a child comes up missing, check all areas in your vehicle, including the trunk.

If your child has suffered from an illness related to hyperthermia or an injury in a car-related accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights at 1-800-887-1965.

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