Since 1994, 804 children have died from heat-related illnesses in cars in the United States, according to Kids and Cars, an advocacy center that conducts research on car-related dangers surrounding children. In approximately 55 percent of those cases, the parent was unaware the child was in the vehicle.
These tragedies are not limited to the parents forgetting their children. In fact, our firm has now represented three separate families whose children were forgotten in daycare vans responsible for transporting their children to and from the daycare centers safely.
These senseless tragedies continue to happen, and there are basic measures we can all take to prevent them from ever happening again.
If transporting children in a vehicle, place your purse, wallet, and keys (if a push-button ignition) in the back seat with your child. That way when you arrive at your destination, you must retrieve your items and there is an immediate reminder to remove your child along with your items.
If you’re allowing your child to be transported by a daycare, be sure the following is in place:
- The vehicle is equipped with a specially designed child alarm so that children are not forgotten
- The daycare has expertly trained drivers and assistants performing these tasks
- They have explicit policies and procedures regarding signing children on and off the van so no child is forgotten
All of these losses are senseless and preventable with planning and forethought. Our children deserve better.