Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children. Babies and young children can sometimes sleep so peacefully that we forget they are even in the car. It can also be tempting to leave a baby alone in a car while we quickly run an errand. 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.
Reduce the Number of Deaths from Heatstroke by Remembering to ACT
Avoid heatstroke-related injuries and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute.
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 are 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 life.
- Teach children to not play in cars.
- Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you are not using it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
- Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play.
- If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks. If your children are locked in a car, get them out as quickly as possible and dial 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.