Leaving children alone in the car is never safe, particularly in hot weather. Even with the windows rolled down two inches, it takes only 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach deadly temperatures on a hot, summer day.
Following are tips to keep your kids safe in and around cars:
- Never leave a child unattended in the car.
- Make sure children are properly restrained.
- Do not let children play in an unattended vehicle.
- Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open or with the engine running and the air conditioning on.
- Always check your vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away.
- If you are bringing your children to daycare, and normally it's your spouse who brings them, have your partner call you to make sure everything went according to plan.
- Ask your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up for childcare.
- Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the car:
- Write yourself a note and put the note where you will see it when you leave the vehicle
- Place your purse, briefcase or something else you need in the back seat so that you will have to check the back seat when you leave the vehicle
- Keep an object in the car seat, such as a stuffed toy. When a child is buckled in, place the object where you will see it when leaving the car.
- Always lock car doors and trunks and keep car keys out of children's reach. If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk.
- If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call the police. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Warning signs may include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse, nausea or acting strangely. Cool the child rapidly. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
This content originally appeared in a different form at safercar.gov.