Parents Who Forgot Daughter In Car Urge Others to Prevent these Tragedies | Florida Injury Lawyers Whittel & Melton


Each year, heartbreaking news stories emerge about children who have been forgotten in cars. These incidents often end in tragedy, highlighting the urgent need for increased awareness and preventive measures.

Sadly, most children left behind in hot cars is because parents/caregivers are preoccupied and just simply forget they are there. It is not because they are bad parents; they just made a mistake that can end in tragedy. That was the case for an Arizona couple in 2019 who ran their older kids to school and forgot about their 3-year-old who was forgotten in dad’s truck after he returned to his home office to dive into his work. The tot usually went to preschool, but was not feeling well that day and needed to stay home with dad. Her dad was on autopilot with his regular routine and just forgot about his young daughter until his wife called to check on her and he remembered he never took her out of her car seat.

The Arizona heat was 98 degrees that day, and by the time the dad called 911, it was too late for the tot. Her parents want everyone to learn from their mistake.

As summer temperatures soar, the risk escalates, making it crucial to understand the dangers and implement strategies to keep our children safe.

Florida’s summer months, June through September, are distinguished by highs that usually reach the mid-80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit. The cooling influence of ocean breezes keeps temperatures in coastal towns like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa somewhat moderated, while inland areas like Gainesville and Orlando can get extremely hot.

In Florida, humidity plays a big role in the summertime heat equation. The subtropical climate of the state guarantees constant moisture in the air, with relative humidity levels frequently exceeding 70%. Because of the high humidity, the “feels-like” temperature, or heat index, is sometimes significantly higher than the air temperature. For instance, with the humidity, an 88°F day in Miami can feel much warmer than 100°F.

Understand the Dangers of Leaving Kids in Hot Cars

It can be fatal to leave a child in a parked automobile, even for a short while. Within minutes, cars can quickly heat up to dangerously high temperatures. Even in situations where the outside temperature drops as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that a car’s interior can increase by about 20 degrees in just ten minutes. Since their young bodies heat up three to five times faster than those of adults, young children are especially sensitive.

About 55% of child hot car deaths are related to children being unintentionally left in cars, according to Kids and Cars, a group that gathers statistics on these deaths and promotes improved car safety regulations. Since 1990, the organization has been crunching the numbers on these deaths. From 1990 to 2023, the group has documented at least 1,083 hot automobile deaths; 29 deaths occurred in 2022 and 36 deaths occurred last year. The most common season for these tragic deaths is during the summer.

Why Do People Forget Children in Cars?

It is easy to believe that something like this would never happen to you. But the truth is that even the most attentive parents can make this fatal error. Kids and Cars numbers show that 90% of these incidents involve good parents who, likely, would never intentionally harm their child.

There are multiple causes that lead to these incidents:

  • Changes in Routine: Any change from the typical schedule, such as a different caregiver dropping off the child, can cause forgetfulness.
  • Stress and exhaustion: Excessive stress or exhaustion can affect concentration and memory, which increases the possibility of forgetting something.
  • Distractions: Smartphones, work demands, and other diversions can draw attention away from the presence of a child in the rear seat.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Leaving Children Behind in Hot Cars?

It takes awareness and the implementation of child-safe behaviors to stop these tragedies. The following are achievable steps that any caregiver can take:

  • Look Before You Lock: Every time you park your car, make it a habit to look in the rear seat. Place a reminder somewhere noticeable, such as a note on the dashboard or a stuffed animal in the front seat.
  • Keep Essentials in the Back Seat: Place goods such as your phone, handbag, or briefcase in the back seat to remember you to check the area before exiting the vehicle.
  • Use Technology: Make use of car seat alarms and applications that notify you when a young child is left in the car. Most cars purchased withing the past few years will automatically remind you to check your back seat when you turn off the vehicle.
  • Create a Safety Net: Ask your child’s daycare or school to phone you if he or she does not arrive on time. This can be a useful backup check.
  • Educate and Inform: Spread the word to neighbors, relatives, and friends about the risks associated with leaving kids in cars. Give advice and resources to others so they can be aware.

Leaving a child in a car is a horrible accident that may happen to anyone. We can shield our kids from regrettable events like these by being aware of the dangers, taking precautions, and exercising caution. Remember, it only takes a moment to assure a child’s safety and avoid a lifetime of regrets.

If our Florida Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you in any way, please reach out to us for a free consultation at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.

Posted in:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information