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Babies and young kids can sometimes sleep so peacefully that we forget they are even there. It can also be tempting to leave a baby alone in a car while we quickly run into the store. The problem is that leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. These tragedies are completely preventable. Here’s how we can all work together to keep kids safe from heatstroke.
Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. On average, every 8 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle.
Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
Learn more about heatstroke and other areas of safety in and around cars, including car seat safety, booster seat safety and seat belt safety; driveway safety; how to avoid getting trapped in the trunk; and how to prepare teens and preteens for driving before they get behind the wheel.