A Nebraska boy died on April 21 after a power window in his mother's car closed on his neck.
Everton Isay Romero Romero was pronounced dead at a local hospital after his neck became caught in a car window on April 15, according to The Associated Press. Authorities could not determine how long the boy was inside the car, or how long his neck was trapped by the window.
Everton's mother was inside a store in their Nebraska town at the time and had left the window down. Colfax County Attorney Denise Kracl said it was not yet known how the boy was able to roll the window back up while the car was parked.
Kracl also said the mother "acted appropriately the entire time" during questioning. No autopsy for Everton has been ordered because authorities do not suspect foul play.
In 2012, a Missouri boy was killed after his neck became stuck in a window while in his great-grandmother's car, according to KFVS. The 6-year-old was playing with the automatic controls on the window while sticking his head out. At some point the window came up and crushed his windpipe.
In 1997, a California girl, age 4, was rushed to hospital after she caught her neck in a car window, according to the Los Angeles Times. It was not determined whether the car window was automatic or manual. She was not breathing when paramedics arrived. She was revived with CPR.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a study conducted in 2003 by the Center for Automotive Safety found 33 deaths associated with automatic windows since 1971. There is no formal reporting system for injuries related to power windows, but the study also concluded that roughly 400 people are injured per year by power windows. Injuries are most common and often more severe in children.
The study also stated that injuries related to power windows often go unnoticed when tabulating automobile-related injuries, and most of them can be solved with education and awareness, particularly in parents.
As a result of the potential hazard that automatic windows create, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested new vehicles be equipped with automatic reversal systems and that older vehicles without automatic reversal be equipped with switches that would prevent accidental actuation.
Pediatricians have also recommended that children not be left unattended in vehicles and that all seat belts and other safety restraints are checked often.