Currently it isn't as hot in Michigan as it was just a few weeks ago, and perhaps thankfully so as the numbers of children dying in cars across the country topped eight in one week between August 1-7. Despite the best efforts of safety advocates and federal highway safety officials, eight children died of heat stroke after being left in steaming hot cars.
This year alone, 23 children died of hyperthermia in cars in 13 states, but eight in one week is believed to be the highest one-week total ever. Heat stroke is the leading cause of death for non-crash related accidents for children under the age of 14. It is dangerous to leave your child unattended in a hot vehicle for even one minute, say safety officials. The bodies of infants and children heat up three to five times faster than adults, making them highly susceptible to high temperatures in hot vehicles.
Reggie McKinnon, age 40, suffered his own personal tragedy two years ago when he accidentally left his 17-month-old daughter, Payton, in the car for hours. He had taken her to a doctor's appointment that morning and drove to work as he usually did after it was over. Unfortunately, he forgot about Payton in her rear-facing car seat in the back, and when he came outside from work at 3 o'clock that afternoon, he found her dead. One of the hardest parts was telling his wife about his daughter's death and coming to terms with the fact that he had made an irreparable mistake. He says that he always imagined that drug addicts or uneducated people left their children in hot vehicles, not a doting father like himself. McKinnon's story demonstrates that anyone can make a deadly mistake, but safety officials say that you can avoid this by placing a necessary item in the backseat such as a cell phone or briefcase.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.