Babies and young kids can sometimes sleep so peacefully that we forget they are even there. A change in a schedule, being overly tired or distracted, or even a new pattern of behavior–like dropping off a child at child care when someone else usually does it–can cause a parent or caregiver to put a child at risk.
However, these tragedies are completely preventable.
These tips from Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock! can help keep your child safe.
Never leave a child alone in a motor vehicle.
Leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. It takes only minutes for a vehicle to heat up and become deadly.Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.
Make a habit of checking your back seat.
Place your purse, cell phone, briefcase, backpack or other items you typically carry in the back seat when you enter the vehicle. Put the diaper bag in the front seat with you as a reminder that your child is still in the vehicle. Open the back door to check the back seat when you exit your vehicle.
If you see a child unattended in a vehicle, call 911.
Immediately call 911 if you see a child unattended in a vehicle. Provide the 911 operator with as much information as you can–type and color of vehicle, location in parking lot, etc. Stay with the vehicle–don’t go into a store or office and assume the police are on their way. Check to see if the vehicle doors are unlocked.
After parking your car, lock it. Children who get inside an unlocked vehicle can become trapped.
A vehicle may be a tempting hiding spot for playing children. Lock your vehicle to prevent children from getting inside.
Even if the temperature outside seems cool, the temperature inside a vehicle can get hot very quickly. An outside temperature in the mid-60s can cause a vehicle’s inside temperature to rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The inside temperature of your car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.
Watch this video from Safe Kids Worldwide to see the difference between the air outside and how hot it can get in a vehicle.