Babies and young kids can sometimes sleep so peacefully that we forget they’re even there. It can also be tempting to leave a baby alone in a car while we quickly run into the store. Leaving a child alone in a car, however, can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. These tragedies are completely preventable. In the United States this year, there have been 12 deaths related to heatstroke and we haven’t even reached the hottest days of summer yet.
Here are some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide on how we can work together to keep kids safe from heatstroke.
Remember to ACT:
A: Avoid heatstroke related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: 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.
T: 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.
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 call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.
If you want a copy of these tips, click here. You can also call 801.662.6580 for free Kids In Cars safety information or download a pdf at primarychildrens.org/safety.
Primary Children’s Hospital ranks among the best children's hospitals. Located in scenic Utah, everything in our hospital is focused on providing the best care for children. For more than 90 years, we have been committed to helping children, families, and communities across the western United States.