Is it ever safe to leave a child unattended in the car when it is hot outside?

You should never leave a child alone in a hot car—not even for one minute.

You know that heat you're feeling outside? Your car is just soaking it up while it sits parked, and although it may be a tolerable 85 degrees outside, the inside of the car can get much hotter very quickly. In fact, a car can reach 110 degrees when it's only 60 degrees outside!

On top of the increased temperature, children can't handle heat like adults can. Nathan Allen, MD, an emergency doctor at the University of Chicago, told WebMD that kids are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses and injury than adults because their bodies make more heat relative to their size. Additionally, a child's ability to cool through sweating is not as developed as adults.

Texas leads the nation when it comes to hot-car deaths and the circumstances behind these incidents vary. According to Kids and Cars, which looked at incidents of children trapped in hot vehicles:

  • 54.25 percent of children were unknowingly left in the vehicle
  • 31.58 percent of children got into the vehicle on their own without an adult knowing, and were unable to get out
  • 11.94 percent of children were knowingly left in the vehicle

Kids depend on us to keep them safe, and we owe it to them to try our hardest to be good caretakers. Turning away for one minute, having a memory lapse, or just making a bad decision can cost a child his life and land you in court on negligence charges.

If your child was injured in a hot car due to the negligence of an adult, contact the Law Offices of Tom Hall today for your free consultation by calling 817-831-6100.

Tom Hall
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Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law