The weather is getting hotter in Philadelphia and we’re entering prime heat-stroke season. Summer days can easily reach 90 degrees and in the warm sun, even a cooler day can cause your body to heat up and your health to suffer. Unfortunately, people – especially children – are killed each and every year as a result of excessive exposure to summer heat. Many of the deaths occur in hot cars, buses or vans when children are left locked in by caregivers.
Our Philadelphia injury attorneys know that even vigilant parents and caregivers can sometimes make mistakes and leave kids in hot cars. From parents who have changed their routine and forgotten baby in back seat to a bus driver or daycare van driver that doesn’t check the bus carefully before parking for the day, it is far too easy for an innocent child to be forgotten in a hot vehicle. Fortunately, efforts are underway to reduce the incidents of heatstroke with the NHTSA’s Lock Before You Lock campaign. The Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office of Emergency Management also provides some important information and tips on preventing heatstroke injuries.
Keeping Kids Safe from Heat-Related Injuries
The NHTSA’s Lock Before You Lock campaign reminds parents and caregivers that they should always check the backseat before locking their doors in order to make sure that they have not accidentally left a child inside. Parents can put purses or bags in the back seat next to a child in order to remind them to check the back. Bus drivers and other caregivers who are transporting lots of children might more easily miss a child since they have so many kids to be responsible for, but should always do a head count and a thorough check in order to ensure that all kids are out of the vehicle when it is parked.
Checking the car or bus is very important as soon as you put the car in park and lock the doors because heatstroke can happen very quickly. As the Philly OEM points out, body temperature can rise to 106 degrees or higher within just 10 and 15 minutes when exposed to very hot temperatures. This can lead to death or to permanent disability. NHTSA cautions that the body can start to climb to these dangerous temperature very quickly as the inside of a car can reach deadly levels in just minutes when the temperature is eighty degrees or higher, even with the window cracked.
Kids under the age of five are at the greatest risk from being left inside of hot cars since their bodies are least able to regulate temperature and adjust to heat. In 2012 alone, 32 children were killed as their body temperatures climbed to dangerous levels and they experienced heatstroke. A full 75 percent of the fatalities occurred during June, July and August, so now is the time for Philadelphia parents and caregivers to recognize heatstroke dangers and to make a commitment to taking action to protect kids.
Likewise, employers must make concessions to the summer heat, particularly when looking out for the welfare of those working outdoors during the day, or who are otherwise at risk of injury caused by heatstroke or exposure.
If you are injured in Philadelphia, Bucks County or anywhere in Pennsylvania, contact Flager & Associates. Call us at 1-215-953-5200 for a free case consultation.