It’s a repeated tragedy that seems to be happening every summer – children left alone in cars that get progressively hotter until the environment is life-threatening.
A Rockland County father recently left his one-year-old twins in his car while he worked an 8-hour shift as a social worker at a Bronx hospital. The weather was sunny and 80 degrees plus, and during the day the interior of the car possibly reached 130 degrees or more.
The father allegedly told investigators that he thought he had dropped the two girls off at daycare. Instead, he had forgotten them in the hot car. After work, he realized his dreadful mistake and called for help, but it was too late for the little girls still buckled into their car seats.
After pleading not guilty to two counts each of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, the man was released on bail and put on suicide watch.
This tragic scene seems to happen all too often. An average of 38 children dies each year from heatstroke after being left in a hot car, according to the National Safety Council. Last year, a record number of 52 children died in hot cars.
Never Leave a Young Child Alone in a Car
Heatstroke can strike in temperatures as moderate as 70 degrees as the temperature in a closed car can climb 30 degrees or more.
Some new vehicles come with technology that can warn a driver that children are in the back seat. GMC offers rear-seat reminders in many models. The reminder monitors the rear doors. If during the same drive the doors have been opened and the car is turned off, a notification will alert the driver by sound and a panel display reminding them to check the back seat.
Another option is to use an app on your smartphone. Waze, Kars 4 Kids Safety App and the Backseat App are just a few that must be set as reminders. Some newer car seats come with alarms.
There are plenty of “low-tech” reminders too:
· Toss your purse, backpack, briefcase or even your cellphone in the back seat.
· Ask your daycare provider to call you if your child doesn’t arrive by a certain time.
· Keep a stuffed animal in each car seat. When you strap in your child, move the toy to the front passenger seat as a reminder.
Remember, never leave a child alone in a car!
We Can Help If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
If you or a family member has been harmed by a defective product, car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation at our locations in New York County, Rockland County, and Westchester County. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.