Car Accidents in St. Louis and Elsewhere Increase with Heat: Children at Risk

Car Accidents in St. Louis and Elsewhere Increase with Heat: Children at Risk

We’re getting weather in the 80s and as the heat increases, so do the risks for child injury in St. Louisand elsewhere throughout the state. For that very reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working diligently to get the word out to parents, caregivers, childcare providers and others who transport children — the word about heatstroke and hyperthermia.


In 2011, there were more than 30 children who died after an adult left them in a vehicle alone. It’s during the hotter weather that these risks increase. You may think it’s okay to leave a kid in the car with the air conditioner on and the windows rolled down, but that’s not the case. Children should never be left inside a vehicle unattended. These kinds of accidents are the number one cause of non-crash, auto-related deaths for this young age group and there’s nothing these kids can do about it — they rely on the responsibility and discipline of adults to keep them safe and injury free.

St. Louis personal injury attorneys understand that kids are getting out of school soon and will be taking more trips with mommy, daddy, daycare providers, babysitters and guardians. It’s important that each of these people know to check the car before getting out and locking it up. This should be a habit and should be done every time an adult leaves a vehicle. That’s where the NHTSA’s campaign, “Where’s baby? Look before you lock,” comes in.

“This campaign is a call-to-action for parents and families, but also for everyone in every community that cares about the safety of children,” said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

During the upcoming weeks, the NHTSA will be launching a number of advertisements, running both online and on the radio, to get parents, guardians and childcare providers to think twice before getting out of their vehicle. It’s important to always check both the front and the back seats for children every time. You might think this could never happen to you, but most of the fatalities resulting from these scenarios in 2011 were in fact accidents. Drivers just forget.

Being left inside a vehicle has some serious repercussions. Some of the injuries that accompany these scenarios are various heatstroke-related symptoms, loss of hearing, loss of sight and even irreversible brain damage. It only takes a few seconds to prevent these kinds of accidents and these injuries. Be a responsible adult and check the car every time.

Precautions to help to prevent these kinds of incidents:

-Never leave a kid in a vehicle without supervision. Windows and a/c don’t ensure safety from heatstroke, hyperthermia or other heat-related injuries.

-Always check your vehicle before you park it and leave it.

-Ask your childcare provider to alert you immediately if your child doesn’t show up when expected.

-Leave a reminder in the front seat to make sure you check the back seat before exiting.

-Keep your briefcase, your purse or another important item in the back seat to make sure that you turn around and scan the backseat before departing every time.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA’s Newly Released Data Illustrated Risks of Car Accidents in St. Louis, Nation, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2011


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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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