San Diego is renowned for its Mediterranean-like climate and warm and sunny
temperatures, with the added bonus that the temperatures here in the summer
don’t often see the kind of heat spikes that cause serious heat
waves in other parts of the country.
Despite the consistency and moderate nature of our sunny summers, however,
we do occasionally see some hotter days in which outside temperatures
can reach 80°F and higher, particularly during the months of July
and August. This summer, San Diego parents would be wise to keep in mind
the statistics behind the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock” campaign promoting
child safety during the hotter summer months.
The facts are sombre: in 2013 at least 44 children in the U.S. died as
a result of being left unattended in vehicles, with an unknown number
being moderately or severely injured. Parents and caregivers might think
a window rolled down a few inches provides children inside a parked car
with adequate protection. However, when temperatures are in the low 80s,
it can take only ten minutes for the vehicle’s internal temperature
to reach deadly levels – even with the window opened two inches.
Another alarming fact? Heatstroke can happen even when the external temperature
is as low as 57°F.
Young children are more susceptible to the heat than adults. In fact, young
children’s bodies can heat up three to five times more quickly than
adult bodies. In particular, infants and children under four years of
age are especially vulnerable to heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses.
Death occurs when a child’s body temperature reaches 107°F.
While you may be diligent about not leaving your children in parked vehicles
when the temperatures are high, you should also be watchful and aware
of other scenarios in which children may be exposed to death and injuries
from heatstroke from within a parked vehicle. These include children climbing
into a parked vehicle to play without your knowledge, and the non-routine
transporting of children, particularly sleeping infants in the back of
the vehicle. In the latter case, because it’s not within the normal
daily routine, parents and caregivers not used to driving children around
may inadvertently forget the children are inside the car.
The NHTSA also urges people who see a child alone in a hot vehicle to call
911 to obtain emergency assistance. It’s important that children
suffering from the effects of heat while inside a vehicle be removed as
soon as possible and cooled down.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego accident,
don’t hesitate to
a San Diego personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for
a free consultation.