Since the beginning of summer, at least 20 incidents involving 26 children being left in hot cars have been reported. Two have died in the month of July, raising the number of children killed from heatstroke this year to sixteen nationwide. If this rate continues, it’ll surpass the national average by a significant margin.
A hot car is an environment that poses a serious health risk. A car with windows closed in the sunshine can reach temperatures of up to 140 degrees. Even in cooler temperatures cars can heat up very quickly. In 91 degree heat, the internal car temperature can reach 108 degrees within 15 minutes. When the body temperature exceeds 105 degrees, brain cells begin to die in four to six minutes and when brain cells die rapidly, the person loses consciousness and death can occur.
In some states, leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle in a public place for an amount of time that poses a substantial risk to the child’s health can result in a class A misdemeanor. A child left unattended in a place that holds a permit for the sale of alcoholic beverages on premises can result in a class D felony.
Jason Stone and his team of Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyers would like to advise you not to leave a child unattended in cars, especially during the hot summer months. Even if you see a child locked in a car, don’t hesitate – call 9-1-1. You may save a life.