Forgetting a child in the backseat of a car can be a grave mistake, even on days with cooler temperatures. According to the CDC, cars can heat up 20 degrees in roughly 10 minutes and lead to serious heat-related illness or death. Though a preventable tragedy, many of the childhood deaths from heatstroke in hot cars are accidental. Protect the children in your life and help reduce hot car deaths with the following tips.
Child Car Safety Tips
- Never leave infants or children unattended in a parked car, not even for one minute. Don’t let an errand to the store turn deadly. Always take your children with you when you leave the car.
- Leaving a window cracked is not enough. Car temperatures rise quickly, even with the windows open.
- Create systems to help you remember to check the backseat. Look before you lock and get into the habit of putting your purse or briefcase in the backseat.
- Avoid talking on your phone while driving. The more distracted you are, the less alert you’ll be to your surroundings, like a sleeping child in the backseat.
- If a friend or caregiver drives your child somewhere, check in. Send a quick text to confirm your child made it safely to the destination.
- Spread awareness. Speak with your network on social media about the importance of child safety in cars, especially during the summer months.
- Take action. If you see a child left unattended in a car, dial 911.
If a child displays symptoms of a heat-related illness, get emergency medical attention immediately. You can find CHI St. Luke’s Health emergency facilities throughout the Greater Houston area and beyond for quick access to care.