It's been a tragic couple of days. In Phoenix, two babies have died after being left in hot cars.
On Friday, July 28, 2017, a 7-month-old boy died after being accidentally left in a hot car in north Phoenix.
And on Saturday, the very next day, a 1-year-old boy died after also being forgotten in a car and was found in a church parking lot near 28th Street and Broadway Road.
"These are hard calls," Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade said. "When you see a lifeless infant still in a car seat and you say to yourself that family tried to do everything right they were in the car seat, working two jobs probably, grandma, grandpa's helping out aunt, uncle, it just breaks your heart”. In light of these tragedies, the Phoenix Fire Department says they are working to re-brand a message to try and raise awareness in order to avert such catastrophes.
Parents have to be diligent. If you hand off that child to a family member, say, ‘Hey, I'm gonna call you. You text me the minute you get to the house and I want to make sure you have that child’. You check three times in the back. The Phoenix Fire Department tells us the common thread in these types of incidences is some kind of distraction or change from a normal routine, or the child has been left with someone that is not used to having a child in the car with them daily.
Here are some very helpful reminders (provided by the Phoenix Fire Department):
These hot-car tragedies often occur when there is a change in a driver's routine, stress or a sleeping baby in the back and a parent or caregiver forgets that a child is in the car. Some knowingly leave children "just for a minute," not realizing how quickly the temperature in a car can rise to dangerous levels. Even on a 70-degree day, the inside temperature of a car can exceed 120 degrees even with windows partially open.
The Look Before You Lock campaign is a collaborative effort started a couple years ago with The National Fire Safety Council and Consumer Reports. It was founded as a way to help people remember their children in the back seat. Here are more tips to help avert a heartbreaking catastrophe and make sure no child is left behind in a vehicle.
- Simple rule: Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, not even for a minute. In addition to being dangerous, it is against the law in many states.
- Check the car to make sure that all occupants leave the vehicle or are carried out when unloading. If you lock the door with a key, rather than with a remote, it would force that one last look in the car before leaving it.
- Always lock your car and keep keys and remotes away from children.
- To serve as a reminder, keep a stuffed animal on the front passenger seat when carrying a child in the backseat.
- Place something in the backseat that you would need, such as a purse, briefcase or cell phone.
- Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up.
- If you see a child alone in a car, especially if they seem hot, call 911 immediately to help get them out.
As parents ourselves at Zachar Law Firm, we are just crushed when we see tragedies like these.
Often when these occur, family members turn to us for advice and professional legal help.
An investigation must be done; death certificates must be obtained; life insurance processing?
Also, there is generally insurance (home or auto) that will pay damages and expenses (funeral and burial) when this happens, but often people are not sure how to submit a claim and how to process it.
At Zachar Law Firm, we help families with these problems. Caring, compassionate and professional.
Prayers for all affected by these tragedies.