Heatstroke in Infants due to Soaring Hot Car Temps
There is perhaps no sadder job as a lawyer than to handle a “wrongful death” claim. In a wrongful death case, someone has died, likely due to the negligence or recklessness of another person. The most heartbreaking type of this case involves the death of an infant or toddler in what is known as a “hot car death.”
According to KidsandCars.org, 38 children die each year due to heatstroke from being left in hot cars. Parents or caregivers – sometimes distracted by errands, a change in routine, or simple forgetfulness — return to their cars to find an infant or toddler, severely hurt or dead due to heatstroke in an overheated parked car.
Pets Succumb to Hot Cars Too
Dogs too are at high risk of death by heatstroke if left in a car on a warm day for even a short period of time. Dogs' principle means of cooling down is to pant, but panting is not sufficient to cool a dog that is baking in a hot car – even with all the windows cracked and water inside. Depending on outside temperatures, a dog can die of heatstroke in as little as six minutes.
Youth's Invention Offers Relief
Relief from such tragic deaths may be in sight. A young Pennsylvania entrepreneur, Pranavh Joshua Vallabhaneni, 15, has invented a device that could effectively prevent these sad events from occurring. The ninth grader won the safety award in the Invention Convention Nationals in 2020 and won first prize for all ninth graders for his device.
The Hot Car Alert Device
Troubled by stories of babies dying in overheated cars, Vallabhaneni created a device that sends out alerts to draw attention to the vehicle. The first alert appears on the parent/driver's mobile device as the temperature inside the car mounts. The second alert sounds a buzzer to attract passersby to the vehicle. The final alert offers GPS information to law enforcement to direct them to a vehicle whose interior is growing dangerously hot.
The Unionville sophomore is applying for patents for his device, which is known as the Baby Saver – Hot Car Alert Device. He hopes to create a commercially available version for sale to parents and caregivers.
Prevention Tips for Babies and Fur Babies Alike
Until Vallabhaneni brings his product to market, here are Ten Tips to Prevent Hot Car Deaths. And for all of you out there with fur babies to care for, remember these tips as well:
Because the last kind of case we want to handle are those involving hot car deaths. Stay safe and keep your cool when it comes to caring for the passengers inside your vehicle.