An average of 37 children under the age of 14 die each year from being left in a hot car or daycare van, according to NoHeatStroke.org, a nonprofit that raises awareness about pediatric vehicle-related heatstroke incidents. Since 2022, four Texas children have passed away from being left in hot vehicles. These children were a 2-year-old Houston boy, a 5-year-old girl from Mission, a 5-year-old boy in Harris County, and a 10-month-old girl in Houston.
The unfortunate truth is that many more Texas children are locked in hot daycare vans each year. If you’re a hardworking parent with a child in a daycare or afterschool program that transports kids in a van or bus, these statistics can be scary to hear. That is why our experienced Texas child injury attorneys are holding negligent daycares accountable for inexcusable behavior when transporting precious cargo like your child. We help you, and parents like you, know what to do in the instance that their child experiences a traumatic event like being left or locked in a hot van at a Texas daycare.
4 Steps to Follow If Your Child Is Left or Locked in a Hot Van at a Texas Daycare
Even on days when it’s a comfortable 72 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can increase by 30 to 40 degrees in an hour, and 70% of this increase occurs in the first 30 minutes. Just imagine what those temperatures can skyrocket to on a typically hot Texas day. Plain and simple: Leaving a child in a hot daycare van is unacceptable!
If your child is left or locked in a hot daycare van at a daycare center in Texas, we understand your priority is calming them down and working to comfort them. But what do you do next? We recommend these four steps to not only ensure your child’s health is not at risk, but also to hold the daycare accountable for the traumatic incident:
- Seek medical attention immediately by taking your child to an emergency room, urgent care center, or pediatrician’s office. Depending on how long your child was in the hot daycare van, they can experience heat exhaustion or heatstroke, which can lead to a permanent disability or even death in just a matter of minutes.
- Report the incident to the state. All daycares and transportation services that are responsible for the care and safety of children are required to follow specific rules, as outlined by Texas Health and Human Services. If a daycare was negligent by not following the rules and your child was left in a hot van, report allegations of daycare neglect in Texas to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) by calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400 or submitting a report online at TXAbuseHotline.org.
- Document any information from the incident by keeping track of all correspondence from the childcare facility and its workers. Screenshot text messages and emails discussing the incident, take pictures or make copies of any letters from the daycare or its workers, and make detailed notes of any phone calls with the daycare as they occur. While it may be overwhelming to remember these steps when you are more concerned about your child’s health and well-being, keeping a file of correspondence can benefit your family’s legal case to hold the daycare accountable for leaving your child in a hot van.
- Reach out to our experienced daycare injury lawyers by calling 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form. Being left in a hot van can result in significant physical and emotional trauma for your child. In fact, your family may be eligible for compensation to cover your child’s medical expenses, therapy and other helpful mental health resources, lost wages from your job while serving as a caregiver to your child, and pain and suffering. We are ready to listen and advise your family on the best approach to hold the daycare accountable and get justice for your child’s traumatic experience and injuries. However, there is a two-year time limit for filing a personal injury claim in Texas, so reach out to our team as soon as possible.
Can I Sue a Daycare in Texas If My Child Was Left in a Hot Van?
The short answer is: Yes, most likely. The family of the child involved in the hot daycare van incident has a right to file a lawsuit to hold the daycare and relevant caregivers accountable and seek compensation, also known as damages. The lawsuit must be filed within two years of the incident in accordance with Texas laws.
Parents may be eligible for compensation to cover:
- Emotional damages such as pain and suffering
- Lost wages from missing work to help their child heal from any injuries
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
In the tragic event that a child passes away because of injuries sustained while locked in a hot daycare van, parents may be eligible for compensation to cover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages from missing work to grieve the loss of a child
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages if the daycare’s gross negligence caused a child’s death
- The emotional toll of losing a loved one, especially a child
- Other unexpected expenses
It is important to speak with experienced daycare injury attorneys, like our team at The Button Law Firm, who will listen and advise on the best path forward for you and your family.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Texas Daycare Injury Lawyers
Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child is left in a hot van or bus while in the care of a Texas daycare facility. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.