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Summer Car Safety Tips for Children and Parents

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Summertime means barbecues, swimming, outside play, and road trips. But, beautiful weather also comes with an increased risk of heatstroke, fatal car accidents, and distracted driving. Amber Rollins from Kids and Cars says, “Accidents involving children and vehicles increase during the summer months. Now is the time for parents to be hyper-vigilant about keeping their children safe. Many tragedies happen during changes in the normal routine or when everyone thinks someone else is watching the children.”

The Dangers of Heatstroke In Children

An average of 38 children die in hot cars every year, with 88% under the age of 3. Because a child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult, young children are most at risk for heatstroke.

Rollins says, “Hot car deaths continue to take place because nobody believes this could happen to them. While education and awareness about hot car deaths is at an all-time high, so is the number of children dying in hot cars. The technology exists to prevent these unthinkable tragedies and would be required by The Hot Cars Act. What are we waiting for?”

Children are left in hot cars when:

  • There is a change in routine

  • Lack of sleep/fatigue (these alter the way our brains are able to function)

  • Simple distractions

  • Miscommunication

Prevent heatstroke:

  • Look before you lock: Make a habit of opening the back door and checking the back seat every time you leave your vehicle, even if you believe your spouse has your child.

  • Place an item you cannot start your day without (computer, cell phone, employee badge) on the floorboard in front of your child’s car seat. This helps to form a habit so you will automatically open the back car door and check the back seat every time you arrive at your destination.

  • Make sure child care providers call you if your child doesn't show up as scheduled.

  • Never leave a child alone in a car, not even for a minute.

  • Clearly communicate who is getting each child out of the vehicle when more than one adult is present and always do a headcount of children.

  • Keep cars locked and out of reach of children at all times to prevent children from getting in a vehicle on their own.