White van with windows where child can be left and suffer serious overheating injuries.We expect daycare facilities to have strict procedures on how to manage children entering and leaving the daycare van in order to assure no kids get left behind. Most of the stories we hear on the news of children being left inside a hot van always end up with the child passing away due to hot temperatures. But what exactly happens to the kid? Our Texas child injury attorney details further.

What Happens When a Child is Left Inside a Hot Van or Bus Because of a Daycare's Negligence? 

  • The van’s temperature will become deadly as high as 115-120 F, especially in Texas 
  • The child will feel sluggish 
  • The child will feel disoriented 
  • The child might lose consciousness
  • A severe heat stroke can cause death  

What Happens to Children's Bodies After Being Left in a Hot Van or Bus in Texas? 

  • Neurological dysfunction
  • A child’s heart rate will soar 
  • A child will vomit
  • The mixture of heat and vomiting will cause severe dehydration
  • The dehydration will then lead to the child gasping for air
  • The child will experience cardiac abnormalities from deprived oxygen
  • The child’s organs will slowly start to fail or shut down altogether
  • The chances of a child still being conscious after 20 minutes are low.
  • If they are conscious, they may be frightened due to all of the changes in their body, causing long-term psychological damage such as anxiety disorders and PTSD.
  • At this point, a child's brain may not function correctly, and this could lead to a lifetime of (oftentimes irreversible) damage to their brain and organs.

How Can Texas Daycares Avoid the Danger of Leaving Children in Hot Vans?

Now we know how serious those injuries can be. Internal organ damage occurs from heat strokes as well as significant brain injuries. Death speaks for itself and we must not continue to let this issue get out of control. Our children are special and they are our future. We don't want to see these types of injuries happen to any more kids, which is why we need to hold daycare centers accountable for their negligent and careless behavior. Leaving a child inside a van is wrong on so many levels and this type of recklessness should be treated with the maximum disciplinary actions. This can be 100% preventable if the daycare centers implement a proper and strict safety system. Safety systems are extremely important when it comes to a field where innocent children are involved. Children are delicate and also extremely active, so these daycare programs have to have a leg up on these issues and see incidents before they happen, and prevent them with good judgment.  

A good example would consist of daycare staff counting the children as they enter the van, and making sure that they have that same count as the kids come out. This is so simple to do and should be a huge part of the training, but somehow this is not being done at daycares across the country. Another example is writing the kids' names and checking them off as they enter and leave the van. There should always be a multitude of adults held accountable, starting with the head of these programs on down, to make sure that all the children get back inside the facility safe. Lastly, the driver of the van should always walk to the back of the van to ensure that no children or items are left inside before locking the doors. 

If safety procedures aren’t being enforced, and a child’s life is at stake, this is considered child negligence if the child were to get injured or die while in their care.

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Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.