Big Kids In and Around Cars
Kids love cars, and when they see a parked car in a driveway or parking lot, they don’t even think about the possibility of getting hurt or seriously injured. That’s why parents have to be extra careful. Here are a few tips to keep your kids safe in and around cars.
Although heatstroke happens mostly to kids under 4 years old, it’s still a risk to big kids.
- Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children, and it can happen to anyone.
- Avoid this tragedy by remembering to ACT:
- 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. Ask neighbors to lock up, too.
- 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.
- 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 child’s life.
- We know you’re often in a hurry, but before you drive away, take a few seconds to walk all the way around your parked car to check for children, pets and toys.
- When checking for kids around your vehicle, see if anything that could attract a child, such as a pet, bike or toy, is under or behind your vehicle before getting in and starting the engine.
- Identify and use safe play areas for children, away from parked or moving vehicles. Teach kids to play in these areas instead of in, around or behind a car.
- Accompany kids when they get in and out of a vehicle. Hold their hands while walking near moving vehicles or in driveways and parking lots or on sidewalks.
- Don’t allow children to play unattended in parking lots when cars are present.
- Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play or hide.
- Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you’re not using it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
- Keep rear fold-down seats closed and locked to help prevent kids from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.
- Show older kids how to locate and use the emergency trunk release found in cars manufactured after Sept. 1, 2001. Young children will not have the strength or ability to open the release bar. Young children should never be in a trunk.
- If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks.
- If your child is locked in a car, get him or her out as quickly as possible and dial 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.