How to prevent hot car deaths and keep kids safe this summer

Summer is here – so how do you prevent hot car deaths and keep your kids safe? In the summer, the temperature inside your car can quickly rise to above 125 degrees. The majority of this rise in temperature occurs in the first 10 minutes of leaving your car.

prevent hot car deaths
Prevent hot car deaths

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Contrary to popular perception, cracking your car window does not slow down how quickly the temperature inside your car rises. Your child is very vulnerable when they’re left in a hot car.

Children have had fatal heat strokes in cars when the exterior temperature is as low as 60 degrees.  Between 1990 and 2019, 39 people died in hot cars on average per year, for a total of 944 deaths in those years.

A great majority of those who died were children under the age of three. It’s up to all of us to keep our kids and animals safe this summer by avoiding hot car tragedies.

Here are some tips to help prevent hot car deaths and keep your kids safe.

Stop and think before walking away

Before you lock your car, you should make it a habit to always stop and think before you walk away. Open the back door when you get out of your car. Is there someone you’re leaving behind?

Take a peek in the back seat

Remember to look before you lock your car door. Always unlock the back door of your car and take a peek before walking away from the vehicle.

You may also consider leaving something important, such as your phone or handbag in the back seat so that you are compelled to check there every time you exit your vehicle.

Backseat baby reminder stickers

Consider using visual car seat reminder stickers. These are decals that can be placed on windows or anywhere else in your car, allowing you to place them where they are most noticeable to you.

Do you have parents, family members, or a babysitter who also drive with your child in their vehicles? If you do, you should consider providing them with reminder stickers as well.

Reminder car seat alarm

You can get a Reminder Car Seat Alarm with a warning light and sound which goes off when your car engine is turned off or your car seat is unbuckled. It is a smart car seat alarm that senses when your child has been left in a car seat. 

Some high-tech devices link with your smartphone and send alerts if a child is detected after your car stops. You will be notified.

It has an escalating sequence of notifications if you don’t respond within three minutes, then four minutes. After seven minutes emergency officials are called.

Lock your car doors when at home

When your vehicle is parked at home, you should lock your car doors to keep your children from accidentally getting locked inside. Also, keep your car keys out of reach of your young kids.

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