Dangers of Leaving Kids in Hot Cars in Missouri’s Summer

Dangers of Leaving Kids in Hot Cars in Missouri’s Summer

There have been at least eight children (mostly infants and toddlers under the age of 2) who died over the spring because they were left by a caregiver or trapped in a hot car. According to NBC News, seven of these fatalities happened in the month of May, and that’s twice the average number of heatstroke fatalities for the month.


Our St. Louis accident attorneys understand that we’re reaching temperatures in the 90s and this is a very real concern for everyone in the community. We understand that there has already been one fatality in the month of June as a result of a child locked in a vehicle.

The most recent fatalities occurred to a boy who was missing in 90-degree weather. He wasn’t found until 4 hours later on the floor of his grandfather vehicle. The windows were rolled up.

“It has everything to do with our brains letting us down at the worst possible moment,” said Janette Fennell, president and founder of theKidsAndCars.org.

Most of these fatalities are not unintentional. The problem is that parents and caregivers simply forget that their child is in the vehicle. And this is why it’s important to remember that we need the reminders to check our vehicle every time we exit.

Safety Tips:

-Keep something in the back seat. This will force you to turn and check the back seat before exiting the vehicle. Try your purse, briefcase or a cell phone.

-Make sure children are properly buckled in. This will help to keep them from wiggling out and getting overlooked upon exiting.

-Keep a stuffed animal or a sticky note to remind you to check the back seat before leaving.

-Talk with your babysitter, daycare center and childcare providers about these tips. You want to make sure they’re doing what they can to help to avoid these accidents, too.

-Every time you park your vehicle open the back door to make sure no one has been left behind.

-Never leaving your child alone in the car, even for a minute and consistently lock unattended vehicle doors and trunks.

-Make sure your car is always locked. Prevent your child from playing in a hot car that is parked in your driveway or garage by ensuring he cannot get into the car. Keep any car keys and keyless entry remotes in a safe place where your kids cannot access them.

Since 1998, there have been close to 600 children who have been killed because they were left in a vehicle. Each year, an average of 38 children suffer from these accidents. Yearly, these risks and incidents begin to rise in the month of May.

“Kids are more susceptible and at higher risk for heat-related illness and injury than adults because their bodies make more heat relative to their size and their abilities to cool through sweating are not as developed as adults,” said Nathan Allen, MD, an emergency medicine doctor at the University of Chicago.

More Blog Entries:

Car Accidents in St. Louis and Elsewhere Increase with Heat: Children at Risk, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, April 18, 2012

NHTSA Recruits Chuggington to Help Prevent Child Injury in St. Louis, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, September 28, 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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