It is a nice, sunny, 70 degree day. On the way to the driving your car to the park with your child, you decide to stop by the store for a few minutes. Buy a couple of snacks for the park, perhaps. The baby is sleeping in her car or infant seat and you do not want to wake her, so you decide to leave her in the car while you run in and out of the store.
The store’s line is long, or the woman in front of you starts an argument with the cashier, or while you are inside, you see something else you might want to buy.
Soon a quick car stop takes much longer than expected.
The temperature in your car rises to 75, to 80, then 85… It can go up to 90 or 95 degrees. Perhaps the temperature rises in your automobile even faster since you did not leave any windows open. Even though you know you will be only a few yards away, you do not want your car stolen, now do you? Especially with the baby in the car! Even if you did leave the windows open a crack, the temperature will continue to rise.
At this point, your child may be on her way to a heat stroke which can be fatal if left untreated.
Maybe it really was a quick stop, and your child is fine. But maybe something happens and you get held up for any number of reasons. Maybe you thought a 15-20 minute shopping break would be safe enough to leave your baby unattended in a car, as it might have been a real hassle to wake the baby up and take her into the store with you. Well, you are absolutely wrong. Not only is it dangerous and life-threatening for your children, it is also illegal.
In California, under DMV Automobile Code Section 15620, also called “Kaitlyn’s Law,” named after the child who died after being left in a car for over two hours, no child under the age of 6 can be left in a car by him or herself unless someone who is 12 years old or older is there to supervise.
Our car accident lawyers agree with Kaitlyn’s Law wholeheartedly. Not only can one be injured or wrongfully die in a car accident, a child can be killed in an automobile that is sitting still. The law has great intentions, but stops short and could use improvement. For example, what about the children between ages 6 and 12? We also believe that Kaitlyn’s Law needs to be amended to clarify this omission.
We want all car drivers to be aware of the dangers of leaving your children unattended in their car. It should NEVER be done. It is too dangerous and the risk is too high. People MUST stop thinking about convenience, like leaving the baby in the car because you do not want to wake him, over the child’s safety.
Please contact us for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney — we speak both English and Spanish — at (800) 655-6585. Click here and you may also submit your case for a Free Review. No fee if no recovery.