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Sometimes babies are so peaceful and quiet in the backseat that we can forget they are even there, and it can be tempting to leave a sleeping baby in the car so we don’t have to wake them up while we quickly run into the store. But leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke, even in cooler temperatures.
Here’s some helpful information and tips for parents about heatstroke prevention for kids.
Hard Facts about Heatstroke
- On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. In more than half of these deaths, the caregiver forgot the child was in the car.
- A car can heat up 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. And cracking a window doesn’t help.
- Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.
Top Tips for Preventing Heatstroke
Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT.
- Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not inside so kids don’t get in on their own.
- Create reminders. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place and secure your phone, briefcase or purse in the backseat when traveling with your child.
- 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
Learn more about protecting kids from 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.