Sometimes babies are so peaceful and quiet in the backseat that we can forget they are even there, and it can be tempting to leave a sleeping baby in the car so we don’t have to wake them up while we quickly run into the store. But leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke, even in cooler temperatures.
Here’s some helpful information and tips for parents about heatstroke prevention for kids.
Info about Heatstroke
- On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.
- A car can heat up over 30 degrees in just 30 minutes. And cracking a window doesn’t help.
- Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.
Top Tips for Preventing Heatstroke
Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.
- Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunks – even in your driveway. And keep your keys and key fobs out of the reach of kids.
- Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
- Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
Learn more about protecting kids from heatstroke and other areas of safety in and around cars, including car seat safety, booster seat safety and seat belt safety; driveway safety; how to avoid getting trapped in the trunk; and how to prepare teens and preteens for driving before they get behind the wheel.
Heatstroke Prevention Tips
Go a Step Further: Create Extra Reminders and Communicate with Daycare
- Create a calendar reminder for your electronic devices to make sure you dropped your child off at daycare.
- Develop a plan with your daycare so that if your child is late, you’ll be called within a few minutes. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at daycare.
Teach Kids Not to Play in Cars
- Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you’re not using it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
- Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play. If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks.
- If your children are locked in a car, get them out as quickly as possible and dial 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.