Attorney Carlos A. Gamiño is an advocate for children’s rights and keeps an eye on legal battles going on across the nation that impact the rest of the country.
As a parent, I dread hearing the summertime cases of children left in hot cars. It always saddens me to hear something so tragic, as I’m sure it does to you, too.
A recent case caught my attention the other day – one where an Atlanta father left his 22-month-old son in the car while he worked. The man claimed to have forgotten to drop the toddler off at daycare, and the child died as temperatures inside the car soared above 140 degrees. He’s pleaded not guilty to criminal charges, including felony murder and child cruelty, but police say they have uncovered things far more sinister than simple forgetfulness.
In fact, according to a police detective, a search of his Internet history revealed that he’d looked online to determine how hot a vehicle had to get in order for a child to die inside; he allegedly also searched for tips on how to survive in prison.
While this unfortunate case took place in Atlanta, it happens much closer to home, too.
There are even commercials on television warning parents about how dangerous it is to leave a child alone in a car – it happens that frequently.
Just take a look at this heat chart made by the American Veterinary Medical Association. If it’s 70 degrees outside, which is a perfectly comfortable temperature for most of us, the interior of a vehicle will reach up to 115 degrees in just over an hour.
The tragedy is that all of these cases are all preventable. It doesn’t even have to be summertime for temperatures in a car to become hot enough to kill a child. Please, don’t leave your children alone in a car – not even for a minute. It could be the last time you ever see them.