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Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars

Every summer, heartbreaking and preventable deaths happen when children are left alone in hot cars. Some of these tragic accidents are due to forgetfulness, a change in routine or a quick errand that turns out to be longer than anticipated. Within minutes, they can be in danger. A child left in a hot car can die of heat stroke very quickly. But this tragedy can be prevented.

For Their Safety, Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car

Tragically, we continue to bear witness to hot car deaths here in California and throughout the country. Despite a concerted effort to raise awareness about the serious dangers of leaving children in hot cars, it still happens at an alarming rate. In fact, since 1990, 836 children have died from heatstroke after being accidentally left in cars. That makes it the second-most common cause of nontraffic child fatalities from vehicles, behind accidental backovers. These numbers indicate just what a serious problem.


Facts About Child Deaths in Hot Cars:


Preventing Hot Car Deaths

The last thing we want to hear is that another child has died of heatstroke due to being left in a hot car. The majority of these deaths occur when the adult forgets the child is in the back seat, but this too can be remedied. Here are a few tips for preventing hot car deaths:


Take Action if You See a Child Alone in a Car:

Protecting children is everyone’s business! If you see an unattended child in a car and are concerned, you should immediately call 911.

If the child is unresponsive or is in pain, immediately:


If the child is responsive:


H.R.3593, The federal Hot Cars Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate in July 2019 to prevent heatstroke deaths in cars.

What H.R.3593 Does

The HOT CARS Act of 2019 would require the Transportation Department to mandate all new motor vehicles have a “child safety alert system.” This would work similarly to existing seat belt alerts, with flashing symbols and warning sounds in the driver’s line of sight by the speedometer.

The full name is the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act.

The House version [H.R. 2801] was introduced last June by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH13). The Senate version [S. 1666] was introduced last July by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

If your child has been left in a hot car, call 911 immediately. If you notice a child in the backseat of a vehicle that is unattended, stay present and wait for authorities. Use your best judgment in these situations. Child hot car deaths are tragic but avoidable. In the event your child was left in a hot car by a caretaker, please contact Duque Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.

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