Trunk Entrapment: Don’t Let It Happen To Your Child


Trunk Entrapment: Don’t Let It Happen To Your Child

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Your children should be taught at an early age that the trunk of a car is dangerous and is never a place to play or hide.

Once the lid to the trunk is closed, ventilation is extremely poor and temperatures inside the trunk can rise quickly, even in cool weather. This combination of poor ventilation and high temperatures is deadly. Trunk entrapment accidents killed 16 children between 2005 and 2009 in the United States.

Young children are very sensitive to high temperatures and are especially susceptible to heatstroke. Even if the entrapment is not fatal, permanent physical and emotional damage can be done to the surviving child. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to assure car trunk entrapment never happens to your child or to any child in your care.


Teach your children never to play in or around automobiles, and to never, under any circumstances, play or hide in the trunk of any vehicle.

Always lock the trunk of your car as well as all car doors and make sure any remote entry devices are not accessible to children. Make sure that rear seats are not folded down allowing children easy access to the trunk, especially when you are not in the car.

Make sure you child is always supervised when he is in or around any vehicle. Do not allow them to play unsupervised around your car.

If your vehicle has rear fold-down seats, keep them closed or locked so your child cannot climb into the trunk of the vehicle.

If your child is ever missing, immediately check all surrounding vehicles and their trunks, as well as nearby swimming pools. If your child is found locked in a vehicle, immediately call 911 and attempt to get the child out as soon as possible, even if it means breaking windows or otherwise damaging the vehicle.

If you suspect your child has overheated while in the vehicle, err on the side of caution and have him examined immediately by trained emergency personnel. Time is of the essence in heat related injuries.

Glow Light Trunk Release Protection

As of September 1, 2001 all vehicle manufacturers were required to install glow in the dark trunk releases. Show your child the release and teach him how to use it in case there is ever a time when he becomes trapped in the trunk of a car.

If your car was manufactured prior to the above date, have your dealer or auto mechanic install one of these releases in the trunk compartment of your vehicle. This should cost less than $150 to have a piece of mind.

As in all childhood accidents, prevention is always the best policy. Educating your children, keeping vehicle car doors and trunks locked, putting remote entry devices out of reach of your children and having a glow in the dark trunk release should prevent a tragic trunk entrapment accident from ever happening to your child.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney. If you, or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident, please call me at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. I can be reached toll-free when calling from outside the Sacramento area at (800) 404-5400.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Take a look at the results I have obtained for my clients on our past settlements and verdicts page.

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