Deaths of children left in a hot car are completely preventable. It’s always important to be conscious of children in and around vehicles, but especially during the extreme heat of the summer months. Here are some tips to help ensure a child is not left in a hot car:
- Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Do not overlook sleeping babies.
- Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat, and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver. Or, place your purse, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder you have a child in the vehicle.
- Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
- Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.
- Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. Teach children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
- If a child is missing always check the pool first, then the car, including the trunk.
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, not even for a minute.
- If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle call 911 or break the window.
It’s important to remember that a vehicle is not a babysitter or play area, and it can easily become a tragedy.
On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car and the end result can be injury or even death.