Nexstar Media Wire – During the summer months, it can be extremely dangerous for families to leave children in hot cars.
According to AAA, a child dies from heatstroke about once every 10 days from being left alone in a hot vehicle. Heatstroke is the leading cause of a non-crash vehicle fatality for kids 14 years old and younger.
You should never leave your child unsupervised in a vehicle, even for a minute. Temperatures inside of a car, even on a mild, sunny day, can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
Accidents happen, but experts say there are a few easy tips that can help remind you that a child is in the car:
- Look before you lock: Always check the backseat before leaving your vehicle.
- Keep something in the backseat: Keep personal belongings that you might need — such as a purse, wallet or phone — in the backseat.
- Travel with a furry companion: Leave a stuffed animal in the car seat. When a baby is in the car seat, move the stuffed animal to the front seat as a reminder.
- Always lock your doors: Even when parked in the garage, lock your doors to make sure children can’t play in the car.
- Put keys away: Don’t allow your children to play with your keys or key fob.
- Have a plan: Make sure your child’s daycare calls you if your child doesn’t arrive as expected.
- See something, do something: If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.
Officials say most deaths attributed to hot cars occur on Thursdays and Fridays when parents are tired from the workweek.