I asked Stephanie Monplaisir, a lawyer in our Personal Injury/Products Liability Section, to write this month on an important matter that involves children and automobile safety.
As a new Mom, I was overwhelmed with the amount of safety decisions I had to make for my baby before she even arrived! Will she sleep in a bassinet, in a crib, or in the bed with me? Do I put her on her back, on her stomach, or on her side to sleep? Should I breastfeed or bottlefeed? Are vaccinations safe, or do they cause long-term health problems? But none of these decisions compared to picking out a car seat.
My husband and I “test-drove” multiple car seat and stroller combinations. We looked at safety ratings and customer reviews. We tested the installation for ease and security. We experimented with how the car seats and strollers would fit with my body type. We thought we had all safety issues covered.
But, since becoming a Mom, I have learned that there is more to car seat safety than how it responds in a crash. In 2016, there have been at least 23 children who have died in hot cars. Janette Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, said the number of hot car deaths started to rise in the 1990s when the law started requiring children to be placed in the back seat to avoid airbag injuries. In the last two decades, heatstroke deaths have fluctuated, with the highest being 49 deaths in 2010. States with warmer climates, like Alabama, experience more car deaths than States in colder climates.
There are several steps a parent can take to prevent hot car deaths. Parents should get into the habit of always opening their back doors when they leave the vehicle. For instance, I always put my purse in the back seat so that I have to open my back door before I go into work. I do this even when my baby girl is not with me. I also have my daycare worker call me if my baby has not arrived by her usual time.
Technology can also help remind parents to look in the backseat. Evenflo Sensor Safe car seats contain a sensor on the car seat buckle that alerts the driver when the car turns off. General Motors will have as a standard feature in their 2017 GMC Acadia sport utility vehicle a system that monitors its rear doors to remind drivers who have just parked to check their rear seats if they’d opened rear doors at the start of their trip. It seems that awareness and education are key to preventing these tragic accidents.
If you need additional information on this subject, contact Stephanie at 800-898-2034 or by email at Stephanie.Monplaisir@beasleyallen.com.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.