By J. Rock Palermo, Attorney, Roy S. Dickinson, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Summertime in the south can be overwhelmingly hot. It is common for temperatures to reach well into the 90s with a heat index above 100 degrees. As the temperatures increase, the Louisiana Department of Social Services wanted to remind its residents of the dangers about leaving children unattended in automobiles–it can be deadly. Between 1989 and 2010, Louisiana DSS reported 16 children who have died as a result of heat stroke, otherwise known as hyperthermia.
Fourteen states have laws against leaving children unattended in vehicles, Louisiana is among them. First time offenders face a net fine up to $500 or imprisonment of up to 6 months, or both. Repeat offenders face net fines between $1000 and $5000, or jail time not less than 1 year or more than 2 years, or both. If you see a child unattended a car, contact local law enforcement authorities or 9-1-1.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following safety tips:
1. Teach children not to play in, on, or around vehicles.
2. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Never.
3. Lock all unattended vehicles.
4. Check your vehicle before locking it. Make sure to look for sleeping children.
5. Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the vehicle; write yourself a note or place bags and other personal items in the backseat where the child is located.
To get more tips see Child Hyperthermia.
Also, if you would like to read more on hyperthermia see Hot Temperatures and Cars – Be Aware of the Dangers to Children.