Kids in hot cars are a deadly combination. Whether intentional or accidental, these deaths are preventable, which makes it all the more tragic. Here are some helpful tips to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
- Never leave a child alone in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down, or air conditioning on. Children’s body temperature can heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults’. A core temperature of 107 degrees is lethal.
- Always look in both the front and back of the vehicle before locking the door and walking way.
- Heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.
- Never let children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them a vehicle is not a play area.
- Always lock your vehicle doors and trunk and keep the keys out of a child’s reach. If a child is missing, quickly check all vehicles, including the trunk.
Is dropping off a child not part of your normal routine? Come up with some ways to remind yourself that the child is in the car.
- Place a briefcase, purse, or cell phone in the back next to the car seat so that you’ll always check the back seat before leaving the car.
- Call your spouse after you’ve dropped off your child to make sure you didn’t forget.
- Have daycare call you if your child doesn’t show up.
- Write a note and place it on the dashboard of the car. Or set a reminder on your cell phone or calendar. You can also download the Baby Reminder App for iPhones.
If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle:
- Always make sure the child is okay and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.
- If the child appears okay, attempt to locate the parents or have the facility’s security or management page the car owner over the PA system.
- If the child is not responsive and appears in great distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child, even if that means breaking a window.
Remember: kids in hot cars are a deadly combination. Don’t take the chance. Look before you lock.
Information for this post provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – www.safercar.gov/heatstroke
- San Jose State University, Department of Meteorology & Climate Science – www.noheatstroke.org
- Safe Kids – www.safekids.org
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – www.chop.edu
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – www.safercar.gov/parents/InandAroundtheCar/heat-involved.html