Marlton, NJ (PRWEB) August 10, 2012
The inside of a passenger vehicle can reach deadly temperatures in just 10 minutes – even with the window cracked two inches. That fact is just one of many released as part of The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Where’s Baby? Look before You Lock” campaign, a national push to increase parental awareness of child heatstroke deaths and serious injuries. Partnered with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Safe Kids Worldwide, the NHTSA aims not only to improve safety habits for parents, but to also educate children and decrease dependency on technology as the only line of defense. The NHTSA warns that aftermarket warning systems designed to detect children left in vehicles may give parents and caregivers a false sense of security.
“As a parent, there’s no substitute for your own two eyes,” says South Jersey personal injury lawyer and father of two, Richard P. Console Jr. “Technology can absolutely provide assistance, but it shouldn’t take the place of active involvement. Leaving your child in the car just to run into a store quickly can prove to be a deadly decision.”
Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle related deaths for children under 14 years old. Data compiled by the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences shows that 82 children have died from heatstroke since 2011. The total number of children who’ve died from vehicle-related heatstroke since 1998 is 532. Those who don’t die from heatstroke can still suffer significant injuries, including blindness, permanent brain injuries and hearing loss.
A review of aftermarket alarm systems designed to warn parents of children left behind in dangerously hot vehicles showed some inadequacies. Conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the product study illuminated a variety of concerns, including inconsistent sensitivity of equipment, varying warning signal distances and potential interference from other devices using similar frequencies. The equipment tested also didn’t provide any solutions for the 20 to 40 percent of children who enter a vehicle without parental knowledge, according to NHTSA officials.
“Safety is my number one concern when it comes to my children. I’m sure every parent at my firm feels the same way,” says Console. “A mental checklist is often a much better solution than relying on a piece of equipment that could fail with disastrous consequences.” Never leaving a child alone inside a vehicle is at the heart of the NHTSA’s campaign to end heatstroke deaths in the United States. Parents can also develop better habits by placing stuffed animals in empty car seats to remind them to always check the seats before exiting. Keep a teddy bear in the child’s car sear when it’s not occupied. When a child is in the backseat, place the teddy bear in the front passenger seat next to you. It’s a visual reminder that anytime the teddy bear is up front with you, you know your child is on board. Busy parents can easily forget to check backseats occupied by sleeping children. This simple strategy can prevent potentially catastrophic injuries and help save young lives.
Console & Hollawell, personal injury attorneys in Clifton and surrounding New Jersey for nearly 20 years, has helped more than 5,000 clients obtain compensation for their injuries and financial losses in accidents. The firm’s award-winning strategies have won tens of millions of dollars for clients, including children who’ve been victims of auto accidents and defective products.