Protecting Children: Preventing Deaths From Hot Cars

The Institute for Childhood Preparedness and Kids and Cars have teamed up to educate the public about the dangers of leaving children alone in hot cars. Last year we created a helpful flyer with heatstroke prevention facts and actionable tips if you see a child alone in a hot car. Unfortunately, there were 53 hot car deaths in 2019, and there have already been six hot car deaths in 2020. According to KidsandCars.org, over 940 children have died in hot cars nationwide since 1990. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car, and the result can be injury or even death.

Meet Amber Rollins From Kids and Cars

For the last year, we have been working with Amber to help prevent hot car deaths and to keep children safe. Ms. Rollins says, “The last two years have been the worst in history for hot car deaths of children with over 100 little lives lost. This is a problem that is getting worse, not better, and requires immediate action for all who care for children. Childcare facilities are in a unique position to help prevent these unimaginable losses.”


As part of Ms. Rollins’ work, she and Kids and Cars founder, Janette Fennell, have facilitated the Hot Cars Act. This Act is “a commonsense bill that requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a final rule for technology to be included as standard equipment in all vehicles that could detect the presence of a child or animal and warn the driver and bystanders.” The Institute for Childhood Preparedness fully supports the Hot Cars Act.


Leaving a child alone in a hot car can happen to anyone. Ms. Rollins says, “Hot car deaths are something that nobody thinks will happen to them, but this is the most dangerous mindset to have. We strongly encourage childcare providers and parents to take proactive steps to prevent hot car deaths and injuries because children cannot protect themselves.”


The most common reasons for unknowingly leaving a child unattended in a vehicle include:

  • Changes in routine

  • Simple distractions

  • Miscommunication

  • Lack of sleep/fatigue

Free Online Training Course For Early Childhood Professionals Now Available

We’re excited to announce the first training course in our new Protecting Children series. Protecting Children: Preventing Deaths From Hot Cars is now available for FREE. Ms. Rollins says, “In the training, we discuss a handful of best practices for childcare providers to implement right away to protect the children they care for and provide a myriad of resources that they can use to educate their staff and the families they serve.”


Enroll in Protecting Children: Preventing Deaths From Hot Cars for FREE today.


KidsandCars.org has downloadable resources and actionable tips to prevent hot car deaths. Thank you so much to Amber Rollins for taking the time to create this vital course and for your ongoing work fighting for children’s lives. Always remember to LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK.


The Institute for Childhood Preparedness stresses the importance of heatstroke awareness and child safety during our on-site training workshops. We include helpful information that child care providers can put into place immediately to reduce heatstroke illness or death. Book active shooter preparedness training, emergency preparedness, response, and recovery training, or one of our many other on-site training programs: Schedule a training today.

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