Law Firm Eisenberg & Associates on Hot Car Deaths

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July 2021 was the hottest month in 142 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As global temperatures rise, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to leave small children and pets in vehicles.

A horrifying case involves Perez-Domingo, who was being paid $40 a week to drive a two-year-old Joselyn Mendez to daycare. Perez-Domino strapped Joselyn into the car before locking it and returning to her home, forgetting to drive the girl to daycare. Joselyn was in the car from 8:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. when she was found unconscious in the vehicle.

After Perez-Domingo drove Joselyn home, the mother called the police. The caregiver faces multiple offenses including driving without a license and not providing the little girl with a car seat.

While this is a tragedy stemming from careless care, this example shows just how dangerous hot cars can be. In 2019, 53 children died from overheating in a vehicle. That number dropped to 25 in 2020, likely because people stayed home and didn’t travel as often. As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted and people are keen to travel to hot places for vacations, these numbers could return to their previous tilt.

“It’s horrible to lose a child for any reason,” he says Laurent Eisenberg, founder of the law firm of Eisenberg & Associates. “By raising awareness, we can reduce the number of families suffering from this tragedy.”

To better understand how to protect yourself and others, learn about the dangers of a hot car and what to do if you see a small child or pet trapped in a hot car.

The dangers of a hot car

The temperature of the vehicle interior depends on the outside temperature and the color of the interior. With outside temperatures of 70 degrees Celsius, a car can be heated up to 90 degrees within ten minutes. After an hour, the interior of the vehicle can be as hot as 112 degrees.

Cars get hotter as the outside temperature increases. At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior of a car can reach 100 degrees in ten minutes or 123 degrees in an hour. Once the outside temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior can reach 109 degrees in ten minutes or 133 degrees in an hour.

In addition to the outside temperature, the color of the interior can also affect the temperatures. Lighter colored cars reflect sunlight resulting in a cooler interior, while darker colored cars absorb heat and have a hotter interior. A light car can be 20-30 degrees cooler than a dark car.” Consequently, a light car can be 20-30 degrees cooler than a dark car.

These conditions are dangerous for children, whose bodies heat up three to five times as much as an adult’s body. At 104 degrees Fahrenheit, important organs shut down. At 107 degrees, death is likely. However, heat stroke is not limited to 100-degree temperatures; Heat stroke can occur as low as 57 degrees Fahrenheit while sitting in a car. However, heat stroke is not limited to 100-degree temperatures; Heatstroke can occur in vehicles that measure as little as 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

With these dangers in mind, here is an understanding of what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

What should I do

Car owners should not leave small children or pets in the vehicle for long periods of time. Contrary to popular belief, opening a window or turning on the air conditioner when the car is off does not help. Instead, plan to take your child or pet to the place you went to.

When passing a car in which a child or pet has been left, check responsiveness first. If the resident seems okay, try to find the parent. If you cannot locate the parents, call the local emergency services.

If the resident is unresponsive or in distress, try to remove them from the car. This includes breaking the car window, as many states have Good Samaritan laws protecting people from lawsuits if they are genuinely trying to help. Once the child/pet is safely removed from the car, call local emergency services.

[Image via Pexels]

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Olly Dawes

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