Kids and hot cars are a deadly combination, according to an advisory by the New York State Department of Health.
In 2014, more than 30 children in the U.S., including a baby in New York, died from heatstroke after being left alone in hot cars.
The New York State Department of Health reminds all caretakers of the following tips to keep children safe this summer:
- There is no safe amount of time or any reason to leave a child in a parked car. A child in a hot car can die from heatstroke in just minutes.
- Even on a cool or cloudy day, a child is at risk for heatstroke. A car can still reach deadly temperatures when it’s only in the 60s. Rolling down windows or parking in the shade will not safely cool down the car.
- Running errands? Take kids with you. Or use a “drive-thru” so you don’t need to leave the car. Pay for gas at the pump.
More than half of kids who died in hot cars were accidentally forgotten by parents and caregivers. Use reminders when kids are in the car:
- Keep a toy or large, stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When you buckle in your child, move the animal/toy to the front seat. It will remind you that a child is in the car seat.
- Put your briefcase, cell phone or diaper bag in the backseat so you need to open the back door to get it. It will also remind you that a child is waiting for you.
- Ask your child care provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up as expected, especially if there is a change of routine.
- Set a reminder or alarm on your cell phone. It will remind you to drop your child off at school, or have a loved one call you to confirm that your child was dropped off or picked up. This is especially important if your routine changes, or you are tired or overwhelmed.
- Put a Sticky Note where you will see it while in your car – on your dash or another spot. It will remind you where your children are and when to pick them up or drop them off
Look before you lock. Almost one-third of kids who died in hot cars entered the car to play and got trapped.
- Before you lock your car, always check the backseat and trunk or cargo area.
- Keep your keys and remote-access devices out of a child’s reach. Don’t let kids play with them.
Call 911 immediately if you see a child in a hot car.