Summer safety: Tips on how to prevent hot car deaths

Over half of hot-car deaths occur because someone forgot they had a child in a car.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 38 children die each year in hot cars.

Even on a 70-degree-day, the temperature inside a car can reach over 115 degrees.

Here are some tips to help prevent hot car deaths

Advice for drivers

  • Open the back door and look in the back seat to ensure everyone is out before locking the doors.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat as a visual reminder there is a child in the back.
  • Have a plan set up with your daycare or school. If your child doesn’t show up (without prior notice), someone should call to locate the child.

Unattended vehicles

The second leading cause of hot car deaths is children getting into vehicles without supervision.

  • Always keep keys hung up at home to prevent kids from getting into cars unsupervised.
  • Keep your car doors and trunk locked year-round.
  • Teach your children that vehicles are not a place to play.

Keeping an eye out

The NHTSA advises that if you spot a child in a car alone, ensure the child is OK and responsive.

  • If a child in a car seems OK, you can still have the parents paged at the venue near where the vehicle is parked.
  • If the child is not responsive, the NHTSA advises that you attempt to get into the car, including breaking a window. Many states have laws protecting good Samaritans who render aid in an emergency from lawsuits.
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