10 Child Car Safety Tips for Protecting Your Children

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.

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